Randa Accessories expects to boost its output and efficiency as it expands its footprints in Reno, Nev.; New Orleans, and Toronto and closes the Swank distribution center in Taunton, Mass.
The firm, the largest U.S.-based men’s accessories supplier, has earmarked $25 million for, among other purposes, a second facility in Reno, a 275,000-square-foot edifice that will add 120 jobs to its head count and go online with LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, Silver certification, and an upgrade of its logistics facility in New Orleans that, with the addition of a new conveyor system and logistics software, will elevate its accessories capacity, with an emphasis on belt shipments, to more than 30 million units a year.
The New Orleans complex, picked up as part of Randa’s 1997 acquisition of neckwear supplier Wemco, will include an independent power supply.
Reno’s output is expected to grow to more than 40 million units a year and be spread throughout its entire product range, including neckwear, belts, wallets, luggage, jewelry and footwear. It’s also been approved for free-trade-zone status, the company said.
The Taunton closure, effective with the expiration of its lease in February, will result in the elimination of approximately 160 jobs, about 135 in the complex’s distribution center and the rest in administrative capacities. Employees will be offered positions elsewhere in the Randa organization. Those opting to leave will be provided with outplacement services, and as many received payments for their equity in Swank when Randa acquired its rival in the men’s accessories market last year, financial services to help them manage their money.
“The decision to close our Taunton facility, while strategically correct, is nonetheless very difficult from a human perspective,” said David Katz, Randa’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer, noting it was “based on a thorough study of the current and future market environment and our ability to meet our customers’ needs with the best and affordable solutions.”
Randa had undertaken an extensive review of its infrastructure needs following the Swank acquisition. Among the criteria considered, Katz said, were adjacencies to international ports of entry, highways, airports, freight and other transportation hubs, distribution costs to its customers’ distribution centers, state and local support and the availability of labor.
The company also plans to move its logistics center in Toronto to a larger facility and double the office, showroom and warehouse space currently dedicated to the Canadian market.
With last year’s addition of Swank, sales at the privately held firm last year grew to $625 million distributed among 18,000 points of sale on five continents. The company has about 4,700 employees and last year shipped more than 65 million units, the majority attributable to belts.
Its portfolio of licensed brands numbers about 75. Owned brands include Countess Mara, Trafalgar and Swank, which it intends to reintroduce at retail later this year.
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye