Prior to founding EMG in 2006, Don spent over 16 years with Best Buy Company, holding leadership positions in growing the company from $400 million to over $35 billion in annual revenue. As Senior Vice President, Don’s competencies include the development and implementation of comprehensive growth strategies, maximization of shareholder value, and development of cost reduction strategies which improved operational efficiencies, NOP and EVA. Don also held leadership positions in improving the customer experience and loyalty and was the senior leader for new store growth, major market densification and competitive strategies.While at Best Buy, Don was also heavily involved in employee training and leadership development. As Senior Vice President he was responsible for the development of the overall training strategy, management of training design and content development, LMS development and implementation and training ROI maximization. The training department included a staff of 35 and students numbered close to 100,000. Improvements in training delivery, content, accessibility and accountability contributed to a reduction in employee turnover of 30%.
In 2006 and 2007 Don worked with the Eldorado Company in Moscow, Russia. With over 800 stores in Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, Eldorado is the largest retailer in Russia with over $6 billion in annual revenue. As member of the Eldorado Board and Vice President of Operations and Business Development, Don was instrumental in changing the overall strategic direction of the company and the development and implementation of a comprehensive business planning processes. He also initiated the development of a retail services organization, transformed real estate growth methodology, initiated inventory and demand planning processes, developed retail sales and operational SOPs and improved the effectiveness of marketing, advertising and promotional strategies.
In 2007 Don led EMG on a project in the Middle East, working with a major retail company on operational excellence, efficient enterprise and profit opportunities. The company was experiencing significant growth and needed help to assure that the foundational structures of their business would support this growth. Work also included identification of profit pool opportunities in their business.
From 2010 to 2012 Don held the position of Vice President, General Manager, Retail at Brookstone, Inc. His top responsibilities included the cultural and strategic transformation of the Retail Stores Group. Primary focuses included improving the Employee and Customer experience, upgrading the quality of talent at all levels in the organization and increasing productivity, consistent execution and profitable results.
From 2012 to 2013 as Senior Vice President, Don managed all domestic Sears retail stores with total revenues of $21 billion. By focusing on improving the culture in the retail stores organization, dramatically improving the in-store customer experience, robust employee development programs and prudent expense management, adjusted EBITDA for Sears Holdings improved by 126% to $626M in 2912 from $277M in 2011. For Sears Domestic retail stores, adjusted EBITDA improved in 2012 to $356M from $4M in 2011. As consumer shopping preferences continue to shift from brick and mortar stores to digital and virtual shopping, significant investments were made in the SHOP Your Way digital platform to afford Sears customers and members an integrated shopping experience.
Prior to EMG and Best Buy, Don held leadership positions with May Department Stores as Divisional Vice President, Federated Department Stores and the PA Bergner Company.
Board positions included the Board of Directors for Best Buy, Gov, LLC (Minneapolis, MN), The Eldorado Company (Moscow, Russia) and Roma Worldwide (Minneapolis, MN).
Circuit City Six eBook by Don Eames