By  on August 7, 2012

Silver Jeans Co. is strengthening its bench.

The Winnipeg, Canada-based denim and sportswear firm has named Doreen Panzer to the new post of president of its wholesale division. Michael Silver, who had held the position of president, becomes chief executive officer of the company.

An 18-year veteran of Warnaco Group Inc.’s Calvin Klein Jeans unit, Panzer was most recently vice president of sales with responsibility for the missy, plus and petites divisions. Earlier in her career, she worked at Macy’s Inc., Ann Inc. and Anne Klein.

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Her appointment follows the addition in May of Denise Norkus as vice president of retail with responsibility for the company’s retail rollout, which is scheduled to begin in mid-2013.

Like Norkus, Panzer reports to Silver. Reporting to Panzer will be the vice president of U.S. sales, Kim Carter, and Carter’s counterpart in Canada, Mark Whyte. Silver’s sales and sales support team numbers about 16. About 75 percent of sales are with U.S. accounts, with the remainder in Canada and international markets.

Silver told WWD that Panzer’s addition will help achieve some immediate company goals as well as help identify objectives for the future as the company looks to move beyond its current annual sales base of about $160 million.

“We already have some specific wholesale strategies in place in terms of increasing our penetration in a number of East Coast and West Coast markets,” Silver said. “We need a higher profile and greater penetration in certain department store chains, something Doreen has done in her prior positions. We need to build up increases with our product assortment, such as tops for both genders and bottoms for men. Both areas are advancing but need more growth.”

He noted that the expansion of the executive team follows a period of reflection on its mission and refinement of its merchandising and marketing.

Updating the company’s retail plans, Silver said he and his retail team soon will be talking with mall operators about possible store openings. “We’re hitting the road in the next few weeks,” he said, “and we’re on schedule to open stores next summer or in early fall 2013. We’ve already been working on issues like store design, retail strategy and financial projections.”

Silver in May said that it would open 25 to 30 stores, with a typical footprint of 1,600 to 2,000 square feet, in the next five years and 50 over the course of the next decade. The company currently operates a single store, a 1,900-square-foot unit in the Park Meadow Center outside Denver.

Founded 21 years ago, Silver is a division of Western Glove Works, a 90-year-old enterprise started and operated by the Silver family. Typical price points are $80 to $100 for jeans, $39 to $79 for tops and $89 to $119 for outerwear.

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