New talent for struggling brand

AeropostaleStruggling US fashion retailer, Aeropostale has made two key executive appointments as fourth quarter sales continued to slide.

Marc D. Miller, executive VP and CFO, has been appointed executive VP and COO. Miller joined Aeropostale in 2005 as VP of strategic planning and new business development and  has since worked in roles including group VP, senior VP,  and CFO.

In his new role, Miller will be responsible for all aspects of supply chain management, including production, planning and allocation, and logistics, real estate, and construction. He will also be responsible for human resources, and will continue to be oversee strategic planning and new business development, including international licensing, reporting to CEO, Julian R. Geiger.

David J. Dick will join Aeropostale as senior VP and CFO on February 17. Dick is most recently from Delias, where he served as senior VP, CFO and treasurer. Prior to this, he was CFO of Charlie Brown’s Acquisitions, a multi-concept casual dining restaurant operator, and has also held a number of positions at Linens ‘n Things from 1993 to 2006, including VP, controller, and treasurer.  He is an accountant, and will be responsible for the brand’s finance organisation, investor relations, and information technology, also reporting to Geiger.

Geiger said the company is enthusiastic about the appointment of Miller to COO.

“Marc has been an integral part of Aeropostale’s leadership team and a champion of our special culture throughout the last 10 years. Marc will undoubtedly have a more profound impact on our organisation in his new role, and we look forward to his positive contributions as we execute Aeropostale’s turnaround.

“We are thrilled to have someone of David’s calibre join Aeropostale as CFO.  David’s extensive financial and retail experience will support and facilitate our corporate goals as we navigate through this important juncture in Aeropostale’s history.  We expect a seamless transition as Marc assists David during his first few months at Aeropostale.”

For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, Aeropostale net sales decreased 11 per cent to US$594.5 million, from US$670.0 million in the year ago period.

Comparable sales, including the e-commerce channel, for the fourth quarter decreased by nine per cent, compared to a 15 per cent decrease last year.

Based on better than expected sales, margins, and expense management for the month of January, the company now expects an operating (loss)/profit for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 in the range of approximately ($2.0) to $2.0 million.

The revised outlook compares to the company’s previously issued guidance of operating losses in the range of ($18.0) to ($23.0) million.

“I am encouraged with the progress we are making and that we were able to deliver higher comparable sales and margins in January, which allowed us to exceed our updated guidance,” said Geiger.

“With today’s announced executive appointments, we are returning to an organisational structure that existed when Aeropostale registered its most significant gains in sales and profitability. As a result of this progress and of the changes we are making, I believe we are better positioned to restore the luster of the Aeropostale brand and our overall financial results, as we continue to navigate through a challenging retail environment.”

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