May 8, 2014, 11:17 AM

Staples Europe hires an e-retail veteran as vice president of merchandising

Thomas Nowak joins from e-commerce site bol.com to focus on additional categories and pricing strategy.

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Thomas Nowak, Staples Europe vice president of merchandising

Staples Europe has hired a senior vice president of merchandising from European e-commerce site bol.com, where he held the same position. Thomas Nowak will join the European division of office supply retailer Staples Inc. in August. He will report to John Wilson, president of Staples Europe, and join the retailer’s European leadership team.

"As part of our strategic transformation, we are making significant investments to expand our assortment and offer our customers more products than ever before," Wilson says. "Thomas will play an integral part in our strategy, as his background and e-commerce experience will be critical in helping take us to the next level."

At bol.com, Nowak launched six new product categories and made next-day delivery available on more than one million items. Prior to bol.com, Nowak worked at Samsung Electronics and Philips Consumer Electronics. Nowak will expand categories and improve Staples’ pricing strategy, the company says.

Staples reports its 2013 international sales—which includes North America, South America, Asia and Europe—decreased 10.7% from 2012, to $4 billion. But the company also reports it reached profitability in Europe in 2013. Staples in North America has announced plans to increase investment in e-commerce as it closes 225 stores by the end of 2015. The retailer also announced in 2012 it was closing 45 stores in Europe.

Staples is No. 3 in the 2013 Internet Retailer Europe Top 500 Guide and the 2014 Top 500 Guide. 

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