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Home décor retailer Kirkland's has parted ways with President and COO Mike Cairnes and handed operational oversight to CEO Woody Woodward.
Cairnes joined Brentwood-based Kirkland’s in late 2016 and became the company’s first COO when he made the move from Michaels Stores.
 
But Woodward and Cairnes have been unable to stop sales at Kirkland’s stores from shrinking — they fell 2.7 percent in fiscal 2017, 4.1 percent in 2018 and a whopping 13.5 percent through the first nine months of last fiscal year, with e-commerce sales not growing enough to offset those drops — and they have had to turn to cost-cutting.
 
Cairnes’ departure is being treated as a termination without cause, which means he will receive a roughly $500,000 severance and have more than 26,000 restricted stock units (worth about $40,000 at Thursday’s closing price) vest.
Concurrent with announcing Cairnes’ departure, Woodward on Thursday evening said Kirkland’s has promoted supply chain Vice President John Stacy to senior VP and named Jeff Martin, until now VP of transformation, to senior VP of omni-channel retail.
 
In addition, the Kirkland’s team plans to close 27 locations in the coming weeks — that accounts for more than 6 percent of its store count across 37 states — and could close more “later in the year.”
 
“These moves reflect steps to streamline the organization and further accelerate our initiatives to transform the business to a more profitable model,” Woodward said. “As we have outlined, our plan includes efforts to improve the relevancy and quality of our merchandise assortment, to operate with greater efficiency, and to lower our cost of goods as we evolve to a true omni-channel model that reinforces Kirkland’s value heritage.”

Kirkland’s beaten-up shares (Ticker: KIRK) rose 5 percent to $1.27 during Thursday’s regular session and popped another 7 percent from there after hours. They were trading at nearly $11 a year ago.

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