On Wednesday, Crate and Barrel announced three executive promotions, including appointing Sebastian Brauer to senior vice president for product design, development and metaverse, according to a press release.
The company also elevated Alicia Waters from chief marketing officer to executive vice president for Crate and Barrel and Crate and Kids, in addition to promoting Joan King to executive vice president of digital and international growth.
Brauer’s role will take on responsibility for the retailer’s strategic vision of the future metaverse and Web3, which is the concept for a new stage of the internet relying on blockchain.
Crate and Barrel’s announcement demonstrates it is setting its sights on taking the metaverse and Web3 technology seriously. Many other brands have been investing in metaverse efforts as well, such as the Lego group, American Eagle and Adidas. The future does look bright for consumer interest in the digital space, as Gartner expects a quarter of consumers will be using the metaverse daily by 2026.
However, many consumers are currently unclear on what the metaverse actually is. A recent study by Wunderman Thompson Intelligence found that only 15% of survey respondents felt they could actually explain what the metaverse is, despite the fact that two-thirds of respondents think the concept could be life-changing.
Brauer joined Crate and Barrel in 2018 and previously served as the retailer’s vice president of product design and development.
“My passion leading teams to enable transformation – especially by bridging the physical and digital worlds through design thinking, collaboration and creativity – will allow us to explore new mediums, dimensions and technology to effectively introduce CBH to a new, modern and experiential marketplace,” he said in a statement.
Waters, the company’s new executive vice president for Crate and Barrel and Crate and Kids, was previously the retailer’s CMO and has served in various marketing roles at the company for more than seven years. King, who has been with the company since 2001, previously served as its senior vice president of e-commerce and international.
Over the last few years, Crate and Barrel saw a boost from pandemic buying patterns and has also had changes to its executive suite. The promotion of three executives follows the announcement last November that the company hired former Nike exec Jason Booth as its new chief technology officer, with the responsibility of enhancing the company’s customer experience by acquiring, developing and implementing new technology. Additionally, the retailer’s CEO Neela Montgomery stepped down in July 2020 and was replaced by Williams-Sonoma veteran Janet Hayes.
(Source: RetailDive Crate and Barrel names SVP of the metaverse | Retail Dive)