The Partnering Group is pleased to announce that Nelson Mills has joined TPG as a member of the Retail Practice. Nelson brings a depth of experience in specialty retail strategy, merchandising, and eCommerce.
Nelson comes to TPG with more than 25 years of progressive experience in North American specialty retail. For the past 11 years, he held merchandising leadership positions with PetSmart, The Vitamin Shoppe, and Academy Sports + Outdoors, where he led buying teams in a wide variety of categories, working with large CPG suppliers, as well as many start-ups, with whom he offered channel and brand strategy advice.
Nelson was with PetSmart for 18 years, and half of that time he held various roles based in Toronto, ultimately serving as the head merchant for PetSmart Canada. Notably, Nelson was on the ground with PetSmart’s first international expansion, being hands-on with the first 70+ locations opened or acquired, formulating and executing country-level strategy for merchandising, marketing, and supply chain.
Nelson has a strong view of retail reinvention, contributing to the “mart” to “Smart” transformation during which time PetSmart prioritized its differentiating services offerings and began to build its eCommerce and CRM capabilities.
During six years at The Vitamin Shoppe, he led an omni-channel merchant team through rapid store expansion and comp sales growth, significant eCommerce expansion on its own website and third-party marketplaces, integration of acquired stores, merchandising process improvement, price optimization deployment, major vendor management initiatives, own brand development, new business/category development, and ultimately the reinvention of the retailer to be a trusted health, wellness, and fitness solution provider.
Adding to his experience, Nelson oversaw a diverse portfolio at Academy Sports + Outdoors, including fitness and various outdoor and seasonal categories, and he contributed to customer-facing initiatives in eCommerce, price optimization, and replenishment & allocation optimization.
He brings with him a multi-disciplinary perspective, having held formative roles in marketing, supply chain, store operations, and procurement.
Originally from the Los Angeles area, he is a graduate of the University of Southern California and completed executive education at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.
Nelson’s expertise is in the following areas, which will have application for many of our clients:
- Category Leadership
- Buying & Merchandising
- Retail Strategy
Nelson is based in Houston, TX, and will primarily serve clients in North America.