eBags, Inc. Board of Directors appointed Mike Edwards as President, Chief Executive Officer, and member of the Board of Directors effective immediately. He also joins the company as a new investor. Edwards most recently held the position of Executive Vice President of Global Merchandising for Staples, Inc. (SPLS), the $22 billion global office products company.
“There is no better person to lead eBags than Mike Edwards,” said Jon Nordmark, co-founder and Chairman of the Board of eBags, Inc., which also owns Handbags.com. “Mike is a proven leader with outstanding merchandising, marketing and omnichannel skills. He’s a visionary, adept at working in companies from $7 million to $22 billion in revenues. Mike understands demands faced by all types of retailers: from brick-n-mortars to B2Bs to retailers selling digital goods, from operations to digital marketing. His vision for how technology and bag-oriented products are used and experienced around the world will advance eBags as the company enters its next chapter of product innovation and expansion.”
“I could not be more enthusiastic about joining the eBags team. The potential to build on the strong platform of ecommerce and mobility will fuel global growth,” said Mike Edwards. “I am excited to lead the talented eBags’ associates during the next stage of success for the company. In addition, I am passionate about the bag category and travel space, and look forward to eBags continuing to provide the best customer experience in the industry.”
As an investor in lucy activewear, and as its President and CEO from 2004 to 2007, Edwards spearheaded lucy’s development. He led the reinvention of the specialty retailer, taking it from 10 stores without ecommerce to more than 60 stores and a successful web business. lucy grew from $7 million to over $50 million in sales during a three year period. Ultimately, Edwards spearheaded the VF Corp (VFC) acquisition of lucy for $110 million. lucy was the ICSC “Brand of the Year” winner with J Crew.
Until recently, Mike served as the Executive Vice President for Staples, responsible for the merchandising strategy and new business development, assortment planning, as well as vendor programs for the retail, online, and contract sales divisions. Over three years, Mike helped expand Staples assortment from 33,000 to 1.5 million SKUs and formed partnerships with world-class brands like Apple and Bose. He also managed the innovation teams supporting divisions in 26 countries and the global private label group which generated over $5 billion in sales.
Prior to Staples, Edwards joined Borders in September 2009 as Executive Vice President, Chief Merchandising Officer, and was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Borders, Inc. and President, Borders Group, Inc. in 2010 through 2011. For his ability to handle a challenging restructuring, Mike received accolades from his team and vendors for his leadership and integrity.
After graduating from Drexel University where he currently serves on the board of the Close School of Entrepreneurship, Edwards has served in operational and executive roles at May Company, Golfsmith, CompUSA, Target, and as part of a turnaround team that transitioned JoAnn Stores from bankruptcy to profitability. Edwards’ awards for his work in retail include recognition as a finalist for the prestigious E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year award, which eBags won for the Rocky Mountain Region. He currently serves on the boards of PrestoBox, Muttropolis , and 3DLT.com.
In 1999, eBags set out to become the world’s most loved and trusted online destination for bags and all things travel — a natural answer to “where can I find my perfect bag?” Since then, customers have purchased more than 23 million bags and travel products – each one a trusty companion for untold journeys. eBags is known in the retail community as a pioneer in customer reviews, A/B split testing, and built a drop-ship business involving more than 400 warehouses. eBags was recently cited as one of 10 companies with top customer service (achieved #3 ranking).