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From Home Furnishing Business

I.O. Metro Names Former Macy's Exec President

Online and brick-and-mortar furniture retailer I.O. Metro has named Bernie Gacka its new president and chief merchandising officer.

Gacka, former senior vice president of furniture for Macy's Inc., most recently served as vice president of retail development for Furniture Brands International, now Heritage Home Group.

"I have known Bernie since we worked together at the May Company," said Lou Spagna, I.O. Metro Chairman and CEO. "He has a deep level of experience in home furnishings, especially furniture and decorative accessories. In addition, he is a strong leader, a great trainer and a man of unquestioned integrity. During the past few months, he has worked closely with the merchandising team as a consultant learning our business and offering valuable insight in areas we can improve our merchandise offerings and better organize our overall buying activities."

Gacka's responsibilities include promoting and communicating I.O. Metro's merchandising vision and concept and working with its product development managers, visual and planning managers, and store managers. He is responsible for strengthening the market position and brand recognition of the company with skillful development of innovative merchandise that appeals to I.O. Metro's customers.

Concurrent with Gacka's appointment is the addition of Alexis Roberts as senior merchandise planner. Roberts brings 13 years of planning and sourcing experience from such retailers as Eddie Bauer, White House/Black Market and Walmart. Her primary focus will be to improve the merchandise flow to I.O. Metro stores and to improve the timeliness of vendor deliveries.

In addition, Leslie Gardner has been named accessories product development manager. In her three years with I.O. Metro, she has served as design consultant and store manager in Rogers, Ark. Her focus in this new position will be to develop unique decorative, seasonal and holiday accessories that will make the company a destination for these categories. She joins Laura Williams, the upholstery product development manager.

"We are glad to welcome Bernie and Alexis to the I.O. Metro family, and we are pleased to promote Leslie to a new position," Spagna said. "As a team, we look forward to telling I.O. Metro's story and further developing our overall growth plans."

Headquartered in Lowell, Ark., I.O. Metro is a specialty lifestyle home furnishing retailer that sells modern eclectic furniture, art and accessories online and in 17 retail stores.







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