Former Ulta Beauty Exec to Help Craft Retailer Continue to Transform, Embrace Technology and Connect Omni-Channel Experiences
Hudson, Ohio — JOANN Stores, America’s largest fabric and craft destination, has filled out its executive bench with a critical technology role for the 75-year-old retailer. Varadheesh Chennakrishnan will serve as JOANN’s Chief Information Officer, helping the company optimize and innovate to create the ultimate craft experience, wherever customers are.
“We’re doing incredibly exciting things at JOANN, from integrating customer-facing technologies into our stores, to investing in new operations systems, to expanding the way we interact with customers on their connected devices,” said Wade Miquelon, President and CEO of JOANN. “Varadheesh brings a wealth of experience and fresh thinking to this position, and we couldn’t be more glad to have him on board to continue our transformation.”
Varadheesh joins JOANN from Ulta Beauty, where he spent more than 8 years in roles of increasing responsibility in the IT organization, most recently as SVP, Applications & Enterprise Architecture. Prior to Ulta, he honed his expertise as a systems and software expert at several companies and as an independent consultant.
His deep experience with IT systems at work in retail comes at a watershed time for JOANN. The company unveiled its first Concept Store last summer, featuring cutting-edge technology, community spaces, and interactive kiosks. The retailer has begun rolling out some of these aspects to its more than 865-store fleet, and will continue testing and piloting new technologies across the nation.
“We’ve truly entered a new era of craft retail, and our new CIO will be a critical player in helping us get it right,” said Miquelon. “JOANN is proud to be leading the tech transformation of the arts and craft industry, and we’ll continue innovating and embracing new technologies to inspire customers, wherever they are.”