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GEI Luncheon in honor of Mr. Andrew Jennings  

Andrew Jennings is an accomplished international retail executive with more than 35 years of achievement in two hemispheres, three continents & five countries.  He is the president and COO of Saks Fifth Avenue.

In March 2004 he joined S. F. A. Enterprises as president & chief operating officer.

Headquartered in the  S. F. A. Flagship store, Mr. Jennings is responsible for merchandising, operations & marketing in the 55 

S. F. A. stores across the U. S. of America, as well as the “50 Off 5th”  outlet stores, &, the company’s online store.

Prior to joining S. F. A., Mr. Jennings was President & Managing Director of Holt Renfrew & Deputy Chairman of Brown Thomas of Southern Ireland where he was responsible for overseeing the company’s evolution as one of the world’s great specialty stores

Throughout his career, Andrew Jennings has distinguished himself in senior executive positions, within central buying, marketing & store operations & has served as a management consultant to some of the world’s leading retail organizations.

Born in the U.K., Andrew Jennings’ retail career began on Oxford Street, London, with the Debenham Organization & has included senior positions at premium department & specialty stores such as: Stuttafords & Greatermans in South Africa (where  he organized the first Italian promotion in 1986), Harrods Ltd. of Knightsbridge, London, Brown Thomas, Southern Ireland, Holt Renfrew, Canada & finally, S. F. A..

In 2001 Andrew Jennings organized the very successful Italian promotion “Viva Italia” in all the Holt Renfrew stores in Canada that has greatly contributed to the diffusion of Italian products on the Canadian market.

In the same year, President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi conferred  on him  the Onorificenza of Commendatore al Merito della Repubblica Italiana.

In 2005  Mr. Jennings successfully conducted  the promotion “Wild About Cashmere” that led to over 800 million dollars of high quality Italian products sold in the 54 S. F. A. stores across the  US.

During his long carrier in the retailing business Mr. Jennings has always given great attention to the best & most elegant products of the “Made in Italy”  strongly promoting them. The steady increase of Italian products on the British, Canadian an American markets is also due to Mr. Jennings’ competent & determined promotional efforts.

For the great merits achieved, the President of the Republic, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, conferred  on Mr. Andrew R. Jennings also  the “Onorificenza of Grande Ufficiale  al Merito della Repubblica Italiana” in 2005.

On a more personal note I would like to add that I had the pleasure of meeting Andrew & his wife Karen in the spring of 2000 & in the following six years we became very good friends. I admire him as a person, as a fine human being  &   as an accomplished executive who is also a great friend of Italy: a country where he travels constantly. 

I am therefore very pleased to introduce to you Mr. Andrew Jennings and to present him, on behalf of the member of GEI, with the “GEI FRIENDSHIP AWARD”.