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Fred Segal to open lifestyle centers; names retail vet Paul Blum CEO

New York -- Legendary Los Angeles retailer Fred Segal is going global. The company, which was acquired by media and licensing company Sandow in 2012, plans to open up to 10 luxury retail lifestyle centers in the United States and across the world during the next five to 10 years. And leading the expansion will be its newly hired CEO, retail veteran Paul Blum, who most recently served as CEO of Juicy Couture. Prior to that, he served as CEO of David Yurman and Kenneth Cole Productions.

Sandow said it has partnered with equity investor Evolution Media Partners on the new concept, which will blend shopping with innovative art, culture and entertainment experiences. Other partners include entertainment and sports agency giant CAA, which will provide expertise in the areas of licensing, branding, digital strategy, content creation and beyond; TPG Growth, the middle market and growth equity investment platform of global investment firm TPG; and Participant Media, the global entertainment company founded in 2004 by Jeff Skoll. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
   
“Fred Segal has maintained its authenticity for more than 50 years. Working with powerhouse partners like Evolution, CAA, TPG and Participant Media – as well as Paul Blum, an experienced CEO with deep roots in retail – will allow us to reinvent the retail experience across America and the rest of the world," said Adam I. Sandow, chairman and CEO of Sandow.
   
Together, the partners envision a “major reinvention” of the luxury shopping experience, under the Fred Segal brand, which will combine fashion with dining, entertainment, cultural events and health and wellness programs in footprints of up to 50,000 sq. ft.

"The convergence of fashion, technology and media has created a great opportunity to leverage Fred Segal's Southern California celebrity heritage," said Blum. "I'm very excited to partner with Sandow, an innovation-rich brand and media company, and our new investors Evolution Media Partners, to build a new and engaging customer experience in the luxury sector."

In an interview with Women’s Wear Daily, Blum said he sees opening the first lifestyle center within the year. He said each center will be individually designed, and that there will be some leased departments.

The original Fred Segal stores — in West Hollywood and Santa Monica — are not owned by Sandow, and will not be affected by the expansion.

 

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