Kirkland’s promotes from within for new CEO

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Specialty retailer Kirkland’s has a new CEO.

Amy Sullivan, who has served as president and chief operating officer since spring 2023, has been promoted to CEO effective Feb. 4. Sullivan will also join Kirkland’s board of directors.

As a member of the executive team, Sullivan, the company’s first female CEO, has helped lead the organization through significant strategic repositioning initiatives, Kirkland’s said, including refocusing marketing efforts and aligning product assortments to drive customer demand. Prior to Kirkland’s Home, she held senior-level positions for Express, Lands’ End, Kohl’s and JCPenney.

Sullivan succeeds interim CEO Ann Joyce, who will remain on the company’s board.

“Amy has been integral to the execution of our repositioning strategy, and we believe, as CEO, she is poised to return Kirkland’s Home to profitable growth over the long term,” said R. Wilson Orr, chairman of Kirkland’s Home. He also thanked Joyce for leading the company “through a period of rapid and positive change.”

Kirkland’s also reported a sales bump in its latest quarter, and is crediting “strategic pivots” for its improved holiday performance.

Comparable sales for the holiday season increased 3.1% year-over-year, including a 1.5% increase in November and a 4.8% jump in December vs. the same months in 2023. The stronger performance was largely driven by in-store traffic and conversion.

Joyce said the company is “pleased with our performance this holiday season as the changes in our marketing efforts and merchandise assortments resonated with our customer base.

“Although we remained promotional due to persistent challenges in the broader consumer environment, our merchandise margin strongly improved year-over-year as we continued to benefit from lower freight rates and better product flow.”

Kirkland’s operates 338 stores in 35 states under Kirkland’s Home brand as well as having an e-commerce presence.

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