Angela Bascue has traded a career as regional sales manager overseeing 155 retail stores in eight states to oversee 18 stores in one state for Goodwill Industries of Kansas.
Bascue was recently named vice president of retail operations for Wichita-based Goodwill, a nonprofit that provides education and employment services to disabled and disadvantaged people.
Bascue was previously with Claire’s Accessories, a Chicago-based jewelry and fashion accessories chain with more than 1,800 U.S. stores. She said she spent 17 years with the company and in her last position she was frequently away from home.
“I traveled every week, basically Tuesday through Friday,” Bascue said.
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Prior to Goodwill, Bascue said she had worked in management positions at the former Casual Corner and for Edison Bros. Stores, a St. Louis-based specialty shoe and apparel retailer.
Goodwill officials said in a news release announcing Bascue’s hiring that she has the knowledge and experience to strengthen its retail business in a competitive industry.
Bascue has lived in Wichita “on and off for 30 years while I moved around trying to climb the corporate ladder,” she said.
The rural Nebraska native said that when she first became aware of the Goodwill position her interest was piqued and she thought it could be “really fulfilling and gratifying” working for a nonprofit.
“As I learned more about Goodwill, it was something I really wanted to do,” Bascue said.
She is married to Brian Bascue and has a stepson, Bret, who is 28.
Q. Is retail an industry that you had intended as a career?
A. Yes. I studied fashion merchandising (at Chadron State College in Nebraska). I always wanted to do something in the fashion industry, so that was a good starting point.
Q. Why the interest in retail?
A. I just always loved fashion. Ever since I was pretty young, I was making my own clothes and following the (fashion) trends.
Q. What were your reasons for joining a nonprofit organization?
A. I had been with Claire’s for 17 years. I was really ready for a change. I just needed some new challenges in 2014. So I set out to see what was out there, see what changes I wanted to make.
Q. In what ways can you use your private-sector experience and knowledge to the benefit of Goodwill stores?
A. They have a solid retail business in place. We’ll be integrating some corporate practices that (will help drive sales) … as well as enhance the customer experience. That’s one of my goals here, to enhance that experience in the Goodwill stores.
Q. What do you mean by enhancing the customer experience?
A. Through more customer interaction, special promotional offers, which has not been a practice at Goodwill in the past, as well as visually appealing stores. Whether an item is new or gently used, the shopping experience should be a great one.