Foot Locker Names Nike Exec to Lead Latino-Focused WSS Banner
Foot Locker has named Blanca Gonzalez as SVP and General Manager of its WSS banner, effective May 15, 2023. Gonzalez was most recently VP of North America Product Merchandising for Nike and brings more than 19 years’ experience in marketing, merchandising and sales leadership positions.
Gonzalez will report directly to Frank Bracken, EVP and Chief Commercial Officer at Foot Locker, and oversee the operations at WSS, which is known for its neighborhood-based store presence and connection with Latino communities.
“Blanca’s vast knowledge of the sneaker industry, attained throughout her tenure with our great partner Nike, will be an incredible asset to our WSS business, which has tremendous potential,” said Bracken in a statement. “Blanca’s remarkable experience, understanding of our diverse customers and personal roots within WSS’ home turf will help deepen our relationships with communities and expand WSS’ unique offering of culturally connected experiences. She will also help us build the talent and operational capabilities to rapidly scale WSS, making it our next $1 billion banner.”
“I have watched WSS grow its footprint in Latino communities by investing in authentic and culturally relevant touch points with its customers,” said Gonzalez in a statement. “WSS has proven to demonstrate a high level of cultural awareness that honors and respect the richness of the Latino experience.”
Foot Locker has been reshaping its corporate structure as part of an overall plan for streamlining its operations announced by President and CEO Mary Dillon in November 2022. In a January 2023 SEC filing, the retailer revealed plans to lay off an unspecified number of corporate and support personnel, announcing at the same time plans to wind down its Sidestep banner in Europe.
In March 2023 Foot Locker said it would increase its tech investments, part of its strategy to grow revenue to more than $10 billion, and the retailer also reportedly plans to close 400 underperforming mall stores and replace them with approximately 300 new format stores by 2026.