October 22, 2012, 12:56 PM

Sur La Table picks Kevin Ertell to lead e-commerce

The retail chain wants Ertell to cook up a new cross-channel retailing strategy.

Lead Photo

Kevin Ertell

Kevin Ertell, a veteran e-commerce and online marketing executive for merchants including Tower Records and Borders Group, has joined multichannel kitchenware retailer Sur La Table as vice president of e-commerce. Ertell reports to CEO Jack Schwefel.

In his new position, Ertell will develop a multi-year plan to grow both e-commerce and cross-channel sales, he says.

“We really want to take Sur La Table’s e-commerce and cross-channel capabilities to a new level,” he tells Internet Retailer. “E-commerce capabilities will improve in ways that will not only benefit our customers directly on our web site, but also in ways that can help improve our store associates’ knowledge and ability to keep our customers in our stores.”

Sur La Table is No. 394 in the Internet Retailer Top 500.

Ertell declines to offer more specifics about how Sur La Table will integrate in-store and web shopping, “but you can count on the fact that we will continue to improve the basic customer experience while at the same time look for ways to provide innovative new experiences.”

Sur La Table recently implemented customer satisfaction monitoring software from ForeSee, and it has also deployed software from Monetate Inc. to support personalized merchandising and marketing.

Ertell joined Sur La Table from OnlineShoes.com, where he oversaw all aspects of marketing and customer experience as chief marketing officer from February 2011 until July 2012. Prior to Online Shoes, Ertell was vice president of retail strategy at ForeSee from June 2009 until February 2011.

Ertell led e-commerce operations between 2005 and 2009 at Borders, where he ushered in the retailer’s first e-commerce site after it migrated off of e-commerce technology provided by Amazon.com Inc. (Borders, which at one time was the country’s second-largest bookstore chain, went bankrupt last year and is no longer operating.)

In 1985, Ertell joined retail chain Tower Records as a general store manager, then took on executive roles in Tower’s I.T. department, becoming director of technologies and system administration services before being named senior vice president of online operations in 2002, a position he held until 2005.

Ertell is a member of the board of directors of Shop.org, the online retailing division of the National Retail Federation, a retail industry trade organization. He joined the board in 2010.

OnlineShoes is No. 147 in the Internet Top 500; Amazon.com is No. 1.  The assets of Tower Records were sold in 1995, but the brand re-emerged as Tower.com under Tower.com Inc., No. 782 in the Internet Retailer Second 500.

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