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Change of CFO at Kid Brands

BY CSA STAFF

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Kid Brands announced late today that it has appointed James Christl as SVP and CFO. He replaces Guy Paglinco, who has resigned as CFO "to pursue other opportunities."

Paglinco has agreed to remain with the company full-time through July 5 to ensure a smooth transition, and has reportedly agreed to make himself available to the company for up to six months following his departure, if deemed necessary.

"Guy is a top-rate financial professional with strong analytical skills who was deeply involved in all aspects of finance and accounting for the company," said president and CEO Raphael Benaroya. "On behalf of the board of directors and everyone at Kid Brands, I recognize Guy for his many contributions and dedication during his years with the company. We appreciate his agreement to remain with Kid Brands through a transition period to ensure a seamless transition and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors."

"I have truly enjoyed my experience at Kid Brands and am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with many talented individuals," added Paglinco. "I believe the company is well positioned to make continued progress on the initiatives we have been implementing throughout the past year to transform the business."

Christl has 20 years of experience in finance and accounting and has a proven track record in global corporations across diverse industries, including consumer goods, retail and manufacturing. Prior to joining Kid Brands, Christl served for six years in two divisional CFO positions at Warnaco Group, most recently of Heritage Brands, which generated approximately $650 million in annual revenue. From 2003 to 2007, he was CFO of a $400 million division of Technicolor, SA focusing on media, technology and entertainment. Earlier in his career, Christl held roles of increasing responsibility across all facets of finance and accounting, including business development, treasury, tax, SEC reporting, information technology, human resources, real estate, planning, production, restructuring and mergers and acquisitions. He started his career in public accounting at Deloitte & Touche LLP, and is a CPA. He earned an M.B.A. in finance from Loyola Marymount University, and a B.A. in business economics with emphasis in accounting from the University of California Santa Barbara.

"We are very pleased that James has accepted the role of CFO and welcome him to Kid Brands," said COO Kerry Carr. "He brings outstanding qualifications and expertise in all aspects of finance and accounting, as well as experience in the consumer goods industry. Additionally, James possesses important leadership, process development and management skills that I believe will help further enhance the company’s financial disciplines. We are confident he will be a valuable addition to our team."

"This is an exciting time to be joining Kid Brands," added Christl. "The company continues to progress on its sales and operational initiatives aimed at transforming and improving the business, and is guided by a talented leadership team. I look forward to the opportunity to help the company achieve long-term success."

Kid Brands, Inc. and its subsidiaries design, develop and distribute infant and juvenile branded products. Its design-led products are primarily distributed through mass market, baby super stores, specialty, food, drug, independent and e-commerce retailers worldwide.

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Loft expands footprint in Great White North

BY CSA STAFF

TORONTO — Loft will open four new store locations in Ontario, Canada, following the retailer’s initial foray into the Great White North late last year at the Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto.

The retailer also introduced e-commerce into its new Canadian market in March.

The first of the four stores will open in the heart of downtown Toronto, at the Toronto Eaton Centre, followed by additional concept locations at Lime Ridge Mall in Hamilton in July, Markville Shopping Centre in Markham in August and Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga in October.

"Since the opening of our first international Loft store in Toronto last year, we’ve had the opportunity to build relationships with our Canadian customers, and we’re thrilled to collaborate even more with women across Ontario through these new locations," said Alia Ahmed-Yahia, chief style director. "We understand that Canadians have a unique style and through these store openings, we are enthusiastic about the greater chance to share advice and uncover new ideas to help women create fashion-forward looks that are their own."

Loft operates 500 stores across the United States and Canada, and online. It is a division of Ann, Inc.

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Brown Shoe Q1 affected by exiting brands

BY CSA STAFF

ST. LOUIS — Brown Shoe Company Inc. reported a net loss and declining net sales in first quarter 2013 as the company cited the impact of having exited some businesses in the past year.

The retailer experienced a net loss of $10.8 million, compared to net earnings of $1.7 million a year earlier. Net sales declined about 1% to $588.7 million from $598.2 million.

However, Brown Shoe said that taking $10.4 million in net sales from exited brands during the first quarter of last year into account, net sales actually slightly improved this year.

“We saw improved consumer conversion related to our strategic real estate, inventory and omni-channel efforts,” said Diane Sullivan, president and CEO of Brown Shoe Company. “At wholesale, we refined our portfolio, with the recent sale of Avia and Nevados, and we intend to use the related proceeds in our 2013 debt reduction efforts.”

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