Can a former Victoria’s Secret exec turn J.Crew around?
It took more than a year, but sales-challenged and debt-laden J.Crew has a new chief executive officer. The retailer announced that Jan Singer, who most recently served as CEO of Victoria’s Secret Lingerie, will join the company on Feb. 2.
In her new role, Ms. Singer will be responsible for all aspects of the J.Crew and J.Crew Factory businesses.
Before her time at Victoria’s Secret Lingerie, Ms. Singer served as CEO at Spanx. The 25-year retail industry veteran also spent 10 years at Nike, where she led the brand’s global footwear and apparel teams.
“Over the past year, we have made great progress restoring profitability at the J.Crew brand, while further optimizing our operations, thereby establishing a strong foundation for long-term growth,” said Chad Leat, chairman of J.Crew’s board of directors, in a statement. “Jan’s passion for our brand, focused vision of our potential and deep understanding of the modern consumer will be invaluable in rebuilding the strategic positioning and prestige of our iconic brand and company.”
“J.Crew has led specialty retail by knowing what it takes to be a brand — putting the consumer first and at the center,” said Ms. Singer. “My passion for developing product, brand experiences and teams feels very at home at J.Crew. It’s a beloved brand that has always been in my heart and, like millions of consumers, in my closet.”
Michael Nicholson, who served as interim CEO at J.Crew, will return to his role as the company’s president and COO upon Ms. Singer’s arrival.
J.Crew Group, which is owned by private equity TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners, lost more than $80 million during the first nine months of its current fiscal year, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The company is planning to spin off its Madewell business, which has connected with younger consumers in search of casual clothes. Madewell’s sales are up 14 percent fiscal year to date.
- J.Crew Appoints Jan Singer as Chief Executive Officer – J.Crew/PRNewswire
- J.Crew Hires Former Victoria’s Secret Executive as CEO – The Wall Street Journal
- Madewell is on the way up, J.Crew is not – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What are the biggest challenges you expect Jan Singer to face in her new position? What will she need to do to turn J.Crew’s business around?