DALLAS — Neiman Marcus is losing another key man.
Ron Frasch, senior vice president and general merchandise manager for women’s apparel at Neiman Marcus, has been named president of Escada USA Inc., a major designer resource for the store.
The news comes 24 hours after the announcement that Terry Lundgren, Neiman’s chairman and chief executive officer, will become ceo of Federated Merchandising on April 11.
Peter Laniak, 63, who has held the title of president and ceo of Escada USA since 1986, has been named vice chairman of the company by the U.S. board. He had announced his plans for retirement in December 1992.
Frasch joined Neiman’s in June 1984 as senior vice president and general merchandise manager. Eighteen months later, he was given responsibility for all women’s apparel.
At Neiman’s he worked closely with Escada, which is the second largest designer resource at Neiman’s. St. John Knits is the first.
Before joining Neiman’s, Frasch had been with Saks Fifth Avenue since 1978. Frasch started his retail career at Bloomingdale’s in 1970. In 1976, he moved to Bonwit Teller, where he worked for two years.
In his new post, Laniak will divide his time between working with management here and becoming more involved in the firm’s worldwide sourcing, marketing, product development and merchandising. Although Escada Group ran into rocky times in fiscal 1992, when it posted its first loss of $65 million for the year on sales of $888 million, the U.S. division has held its own under Laniak’s leadership.
In fact, the Escada collection in the U.S. remains the group’s best selling label. The U.S. is also the second biggest market for the collection, surpassed only by Germany.
As reported, sales are projected at $120 million for fiscal 1993, on a par with the 1992 results. Wolfgang Ley, chairman and ceo of Escada, noted in an interview last May that the Escada Collection “never lost money.”
When Laniak joined the firm nearly eight years ago, there was only one Escada store, in Great Neck, N.Y. The retail division of Escada USA has grown to include 12 Escada stores, with annual sales increases averaging about 18 percent. Escada reported sales of $720 million for fiscal 1993, although the firm does not expect to return to profitability until fiscal 1994. Its brands include Laurel, Nic Janik, Cerruti 1881, Badgley Mischka and Apriori.