FINANCE

New York & Co. is changing its name, launching new brands

BY Marianne Wilson

Say goodbye to New York & Co.

The women’s apparel retailer on Tuesday announced it is changing its name to RTW Retailwinds to reflect “the ability to grow the portfolio of lifestyle brands into new categories and markets.”

The name change, expected to occur in October, is part of New York & Co.’s new strategy that is designed to drive sales to over $1 billion. It includes such new initiatives as expanding the company’s plus-size brand, Fashion to Figure (which it acquired at a bankruptcy auction last year), introducing a lingerie lifestyle brand, and debuting a Kate Hudson casual lifestyle collection. Both the lingerie brand and the Kate Hudson collection will have their own digital sites.

In addition, the retailer also plans to accelerate growth of its core namesake brand through ongoing celebrity partnerships, including collaborations with Eva Mendes, and Gabrielle Union to name a few.

“We are at a defining moment in our corporate reinvention, with a proven track record for developing celebrity and sub-brand collections that resonate with our consumers,” said CEO Greg Scott.

Over the past several years, New York & Co. has developed and implemented the necessary framework to take our company to a new level of growth, Scott continued.

“Today, over 30% of our sales are generated digitally, we have optimized our retail footprint, and have the talent and infrastructure to capitalize on our strengths,” he said.

Scott noted that, in the second quarter of 2018, the company reported its fourth consecutive quarter of comparable store sales growth, it highest gross margin rate achieved in the second quarter since 2005, and is on track to achieve adjusted EBITDA of $35 million to $37 million for the fiscal year, up from adjusted EBITDA of $30.5 million in fiscal year 2017.

The retailer said its ability to incubate new brands is further substantiated by New York & Company’s physical footprint of 425 stores, a digital presence which represented 30% of 2017 sales, a customer file with over 13 million names, and approximately 165 million annual visits online and in stores. The company’s loyalty member base represents 43% of total sales.

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