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Don Jones has been tapped as president and chief operating officer of Frederick’s of Hollywood Group Inc.
This story first appeared in the September 14, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
He reports to Thomas Lynch, chairman and chief executive officer.
Jones succeeds Linda LoRe, who resigned her post as president of the retail division Sept. 2, and who had served as president of FOH from 1999 to 2009.
The appointment underscores a shake-up at FOH in August when Lynch made a surprise announcement to senior management staff at the FOH offices in Hollywood that LoRe would be leaving the company. LoRe will continue her employment at FOH through Jan. 20.
Jones is a 35-year veteran of the fashion and consumer product retail industries, where he has held positions with retailers such as Gap Inc., Target, Filene’s, Macy’s and Ikea.
Most recently, Jones served as ceo of Pogan Retail LLC, a retail consultancy he founded in 2003 where he advised clients such as Liz Claiborne Inc. on the migration of its outlet division to a specialty store strategy. At Gap as senior vice president of stores and operations, he was responsible for Gap, Gap Kids and Gap Body, where he oversaw the rollout of Gap bodywear, bras, daywear and yogawear.
Jones, who will commute to the FOH offices in Hollywood from New York, described intimate apparel as one of the “most successful” categories at retail.
“The launch of Gap Body was one of the most important launches at Gap over the past decade,” said Jones. “It all starts with great brands, and Frederick’s of Hollywood is one of the most recognized [lingerie] brands in the world….To build a brand you have to be sure there’s a synergistic relationship between retail and technology….I think we have the brand, the team, the talent and the strategy to make sure we maximize the Frederick’s of Hollywood business.”
Addressing Jones’ new role at FOH, Lynch said his addition to the management team is “another critical step toward returning Frederick’s of Hollywood to profitability.”
Jones’ appointment comes as Frederick’s continues to struggle in the face of competition from Victoria’s Secret. In the quarter ended April 30, net losses totaled $387,000 compared with profits of $350,000 a year earlier, while sales fell 13.1 percent to $32.6 million from $36.9 million. The declines came on the back of several years of losses and falling sales, with net losses of $21.2 million on sales of $176.3 million in the year ended July 31, 2009. The $222.91 million Frederick’s operates over 120 stores, mails 15.3 million catalogues annually and also sells its products at fredericks.com.