Big Lots adds 2 retail veterans to C-suite


COLUMBUS, Ohio — Top 100 retailer Big Lots is adding a pair of industry veterans to its leadership team. Margarita Giannantonio has been named chief merchandising officer, and John Alpaugh has joined Big Lots as chief marketing officer.

“We’ve worked diligently to find the right thought and people leaders for these two roles, and Margarita and John emerged clearly from our searches as the right leaders to take us forward,” said Bruce Thorn, president and CEO of Big Lots. “Working together, Margarita, John and their teams will shape how our customer’s experience our brand, and optimize our cross-channel offering of exceptional bargains, treasures and essentials.”

Giannantonio will be responsible for shaping and leading the company’s merchandising strategy across all product categories. She joins the executive leadership team effective Nov. 14 and reports to Thorn.

“Margarita is a deeply accomplished off-price retail industry leader with more than 30 years of experience in merchandising, sales, marketing and product development in the home, housewares, and apparel categories,” Thorn said. “Margarita’s creativity, extensive experience in off-price retail and financial acumen make her a great fit for Big Lots. Her leadership in merchandising will be invaluable as we intensify our focus on bargains and treasures to deliver exceptional value for our customers.”

Giannantonio spent the past decade with TJX, which includes off-price retail brands including HomeGoods, HomeSense, T.J. Maxx and Marshalls. She was most recently senior vice president and general merchandise manager of TJX Canada, where she led teams responsible for merchandise strategy and financial plans. She also previously served in roles with Hudson’s Bay Company, Incredible Clothing Company, The House2/Stylekraft Sportswear and Hugo Boss Canada.

Alpaugh is responsible for managing the company’s brand and marketing strategies and executions. He reports to Thorn.

“John’s background includes a deep and diverse set of experiences, among them brand positioning and launch, enterprise strategy, customer insights and analytics, e-commerce, market research and budget management,” Thorn said. “John has a proven track record of marketing excellence, is a strong collaborator and possesses a great mix of analytical and practical instincts. His leadership will be vital as we build an even stronger Big Lots using effective, efficient, innovative, data-driven and tech-enabled marketing approaches to drive results.”

Building on his successes as a business planner for IBM, Alpaugh spent six years in Frankfurt, Germany, with Procter and Gamble in brand management before holding various leadership roles with PetSmart. Most recently, Alpaugh was the CEO of CyberMark, a digital marketing solutions provider to multi-location businesses, before selling the company in June.

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