NEWBURY PARK, CA (BRAIN)—Reuben Hernandez has joined Giant Bicycle as its new merchandising manager. He will continue the development and growth of Giant’s retailing program. Hernandez replaces Holly Wiese, former retail development and merchandising manager.
Hernandez, 38, brings a wealth of expertise to the position, going back more than a decade when he was visual merchandising manager for GT Bicycles. Since then, he’s worked as Nike’s merchandising program manager, supervising programs in non Nike-owned stores. Most recently, Hernandez was retail marketing manager with action sports brand leader Sole Technology, managing five brands under its umbrella.
“Reuben brings a strong mix of visual merchandise and program management skills to Giant,” said Elysa Walk, general manager of Giant Bicycle. “He will be an integral part of the merchandising team that is working to advance Giant’s approach to bicycle retailing.”
Up to 90 percent of his focus will be to ensure Giant Retail Partner stores are executed to the best level. He will also work with Giant’s sales and marketing team to create seasonal signage and merchandising programs for Giant retailers.
“I take pride in seeing how a brand comes to life at retail,” Hernandez said. “Merchandising is that department that shows it off to the consumer. How do you get in front of consumers’ eyes is what gets me excited about joining Giant’s program.”
A life-long cyclist, Hernandez said although he hasn’t worked with cycling specific companies since leaving GT in the mid 90s, he has kept his eyes and ears open to the industry.
Hernandez began his new position with Giant on June 15. He relocated with his wife and two young kids to its headquarters in Newbury Park, which he described as “family-friendly.”
He said in his first 30 to 60 days with Giant he will get to know the team internally at Giant and visit dealers to get a sense of Giant’s retail presence.
“Nothing prepares you better for retail than seeing it with your own eyes,” Hernandez said. “It helps to see and hear first person from that retailers’ perspective what they need from my side.”