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NEW YORK — Scoop has the visionaries — co-owners Stefani Greenfield and Uzi Ben-Abraham. Scoop has the money — an unnamed private investor. Now the retailer has the management and operations expert — Melanie Cox, a consultant to Prentice Capital and Cerberus Capital on specialty retail investments, has been named president and chief executive officer.
“She will help build and grow the infrastructure so that we can take the company to the next level,” Greenfield said. “Uzi can focus on new real estate deals and I’ll do more creative, such as branding and marketing.
Cox held management and operating positions for 15 years in fast-growth companies such as Urban Outfitters. She will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the business. Her priorities will be to expand the domestic store footprint as well as pursue other growth opportunities.
Cox said she is eager to “be joining the Scoop team and I look forward to building upon the company’s success as we evolve and position the brand for future growth. I have the utmost respect for the brand.”
Scoop, which started as a women’s store in SoHo, here, has grown to 15 units in the U.S. The retailer opened a 10,000-square-foot megastore at 473-475 Broadway here last year and has introduced new concepts such as Scoop It Up, an outlet store, also on Broadway. Scoop has been testing the international waters with a small beach shop in Mykonos, Greece, and plans to open a full-line Scoop unit in London this year.
The stores do a minimum of $1,500 in sales per square foot, Greenfield said.
“In the next year we’ll open two to three stores,” she said. “We’re growing our wholesale business and expanding internationally. We need someone who is going to spearhead all of the operations. Together, we plan to build on our success, and with Melanie on board, achieve our larger vision for the brand.”
Scoop Beach, the company’s wholesale collection with 12 months-a-year delivery, has almost 200 retail accounts worldwide. “We’re exploring both national and international expansion on a retail and wholesale level,” Greenfield said. “Collectively we will come up with additional concepts. We’re always up to something clever. And Melanie will help us grow the business in ways we haven’t thought of.”
Scoop has been innovative in segmenting its stores in the West Village into Scoop Men’s, Scoop Women’s, Scoop Kids and Scoop Street. The retailer also participated in Home Shopping Network’s fashion week, selling both private label and branded products.
Scoop has no shortage of competition. Barneys Co-op, Intermix and Calypso are established players, while Neiman Marcus’ Cusp is another entry that could further crowd things if the company decides to roll it out after its test period.
Scoop is not hesitant to expand at a time when the difficult economy has left some independent specialty chains feeling jittery.
“When everybody is so afraid of what’s happening in retail, we’re proactively saying that we’re excited to grow this business and are looking for the best people in this industry to help us,” Greenfield said. “Retail is going to always thrive. It’s going to have good times and bad times, but people don’t lose their desire for great products. These are the times you have to work harder.”