Art Van adds top digital and franchising posts

Warren, Michigan-based furniture and mattress retailer Art Van Furniture has named Michele Azar to the new post of chief digital officer and Keri Durkin to the new position of vice president of franchise development.

Azar reports to Kim Yost, Art Van president and chief executive officer, and has responsibility for driving the retailer’s e-commerce expansion.

She spent more than two decades with Best Buy Co. Inc., serving most recently as vice president of global e-commerce multichannel fulfillment and growth. Azar drove innovative digital business models and improved online customer engagement at Best Buy, a news release said. She also was responsible for re-engineering its fulfillment process for online ordering, which greatly increased e-commerce revenue and reduced out-of-stock issues.

“All roads lead to the internet, and under Michele’s expert command, we will dramatically expand e-commerce at Art Van Furniture and become a must-visit online marketplace for guests,” Yost said. “She is an unabashed visionary and her proven experience makes her uniquely qualified to create an easy, delightful experience for online home furnishing shoppers.”

Durkin is a retail veteran who joins Art Van Furniture from Ashley HomeStore, where she was senior vice president of licensee operations. She previously held senior leadership roles at Sears Hometown Stores, World Kitchen and Kohl’s. 

In her new role, Durkin is responsible for accelerating the growth and leading the operations of Art Van’s franchise division. She reports to Steve Glucksman, senior vice president of business development.

 “Keri is a franchising champion and embraces her role with enthusiasm, conquers challenges with smart strategy and has a stellar history of success,” Yost said. “Her expertise and dynamic leadership style are invaluable to Art Van Furniture as we continue to grow our franchise system.”