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Paul McAdam, former chief executive officer of AllSaints North America, is joining Quiksilver Inc. as president of retail. He will succeed Bradley Sell, a Quiksilver veteran with more than a decade at the company as the president of retail and, earlier, the chief financial officer. Sell is to stay with Quiksilver in a retail finance role.
“The attraction that I have to the brand is it’s got 40 years of great history,” said McAdam, who starts at Huntington Beach, Calif.-based Quiksilver today and will relocate to Southern California from New York. “I think we can have a strong retail handwriting. Whether you like AllSaints or not, it has a very differentiated viewpoint and, at Quiksilver, we can have a strong message at retail, probably stronger than it is today.”
McAdam, previously president of Ben Sherman North America, led London-based AllSaints’ push into the U.S. that kicked off in 2009 with an in-store shop at Bloomingdale’s in New York and a retail location in Los Angeles on Robertson Boulevard. AllSaints had planned to open 30 to 50 units in the U.S., where it currently has nearly 15 stores, in three to five years, but its ambitions were apparently tempered by financial struggles. Lion Capital and Goode Partners bought the company in May after nationalization of the Icelandic bank Kaupthing, which had a majority stake in AllSaints, forced the company to restructure.
At first glance, McAdam, who said he resigned from AllSaints months ago, seems like a strange fit for Quiksilver, which is aimed at a much broader audience than AllSaints or Ben Sherman. However, he’s built a track record of quickly raising a brand’s retail profile. At AllSaints, McAdam noted he developed a $100 million business in the U.S. in less than three years. “It is a very vibrant, healthy business,” he said, adding, “They are looking to replace me as we speak.”
Retail has historically taken a backseat to wholesale at Quiksilver. At the end of its last fiscal year, the company had 834 stores worldwide, 540 of which were company owned and 126 of which were in the Americas. At the same time, Quiksilver sold its namesake brand to 11,500 doors in the Americas, and Roxy to 11,300 doors. Some of Quiksilver’s key wholesale accounts are Pacific Sunwear, Nordstrom, Zumiez and Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Quiksilver’s stores are mainly under the Quiksilver, Roxy and DC nameplates, although Quiksilver has been experimenting of late with other concepts, including a Quiksilver Waterman store targeting men in their 30s and older, which opened in July at Fashion Island in Newport Beach, Calif.; a 585 Boardriders store with merchandise from Quiksilver, Roxy and DC that recently opened on Venice Boulevard in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Venice, and VSTR, a clothing line with champion surfer Kelly Slater that will be opening a store at the Malibu Lumber Yard.
“I really think retail can be a very strong piece of the Quiksilver business, and I really think it can act as a showcase for the brands, and I want to try to help them to do that,” said McAdam.