Michaels also said Friday that chief financial officer Denise Paulonis has accepted a position at another company and will leave at the end of the fiscal year on Jan. 31.

(Bloomberg)—Michaels Cos., No. 249 in the 2019 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000, names 12-year Walmart Inc. (No. 3) veteran Ashley Buchanan as its next CEO.

Buchanan was named president and CEO designate at Michaels and appointed to the board, effective Jan. 6. He will succeed Mark Cosby as CEO after a transition period that ends April 1, the Irving, Texas-based retailer said in a statement. Cosby was named CEO in October after holding the position on an interim basis since February.

As the former chief merchandising and chief operating officer for Walmart’s U.S. ecommerce business, Buchanan satisfies Michaels’ need for “an executive with heavy digital experience,” according to Stephens Inc. analyst Rick Nelson.

“The arts/crafts industry appears to be in the early stages of shakeout with consumer creativity increasingly swinging to social media and competitors beginning to close stores,” Nelson wrote in a research note.

Near-term challenges remain. Michaels also said Friday that chief financial officer Denise Paulonis has accepted a position at another company and will leave at the end of the fiscal year on Jan. 31. The company is also taking on some leases from rival A.C. Moore, which said in November that it would close its stores due to the tough retail environment.

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“We see MIK as an eventual winner with a dominant market position, brand awareness, and strong balance sheet,” Nelson said, referring to Michaels by its stock symbol. “In the interim, however, store closings, liquidation sales, and new strategies are likely to produce choppy results.”

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