Jim Carreker, chief executive officer and chairman of The Bombay Company, received the 2004 M.B. Zale Visionary Merchant Award. Presented annually, the M.B. Zale Visionary Merchant Lecture Series and Award highlights the role of innovative merchandising in the success of retail businesses, while honoring M.B. Zale’s outstanding achievements in merchandising.

Throughout Carreker’s career, he has created a legacy of visionary leadership in retailing. In 2002, he came out of retirement to accept the position of CEO and chairman of The Bombay Company.

When asked why, Carreker said, “I was looking for what I wanted to do and liked retail because in it, change occurs so fast. In retail there is no given. Just because you did well last month, does not mean you will this month. In retail, you must constantly change. In this fast-paced, competitive environment, it does not take long to make a difference.”

Carreker has already directed major change at Bombay. Under his leadership, the company has been repositioned and re-energized, with a total market cap increasing 400 percent during the first nine months of his tenure.

“The most important thing is to know your customer,” Carreker told the audience at the award ceremony, “and never underestimate his or her intelligence.”