Retail Veteran Joins Dick's Sporting Goods

With a long history in apparel, Chad Kessler moves to the sporting goods retailer and will now have oversight of its private label initiatives.
Greg Sleter
Associate Publisher/Executive Editor
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Chad Kessler - Dick's Sporting Goods
Chad Kessler

Retail veteran Chad Kessler has joined Dick’s Sporting Goods as its executive vice president of Vertical Brands, giving him oversight of the company’s private label efforts.

His appointment was announced on the retailer’s LinkedIn page. 

Prior to joining Dick’s, Kessler was with American Eagle Outfitters where he spent more than eight years. He most recently was president, American Eagle Premium Brands, a position he held for nearly a year. Prior, he was global brand president of American Eagle and executive vice president and chief merchandising and design officer. 

During his time as president of American Eagle Premium Brands, he had purview of several branded collections that included the repositioning of heritage brands. He also led the American Eagle "Future of Stores" initiative in an effort to redefine the customer experience.

Prior to American Eagle, Kessler was with Urban Outfitters first serving as senior vice president of Corporate Merchandising and later moved into the role of chief merchandising office for Urban Outfitters, North America. 

He began his career in retail at Abercrombie & Fitch. Starting in 1994 as an assistant store manager, he received multiple promotions that led to him serving as executive vice president, Female Merchandising. He held this position for three years before leaving the company in 2010.

While with Abercrombie, he worked for several of the company’s brands including Abercrombie Boys, Hollister and Ruehl Fashion Brands. 

He joins Dick’s at a time when the retailer’s sales have been softening. While its third quarter results will be made public on Nov. 22, the second quarter provided challenges for the sporting goods retailer. Net sales were down 5% to $3.1 billion in the quarter ended July 30, with comparable store sales off 5.1%.

Following the second quarter, the retailer lowered its full year expectations forecasting comparable store sales for the year to be between negative 6% and negative 2%.