Hilfiger Dedicated To Rebuilding Wholesale
NEW YORK – Fred Gehring, the new chief executive officer of Tommy Hilfiger Corp., the $1.7 billion company, is committed to rebuilding the struggling U.S. wholesale business, while continuing its fast-track growth overseas.

Gehring, former ceo of Tommy Hilfiger Europe, took over the helm of the now privately-held firm Wednesday, the day Apax Partners completed its $1.6 billion acquisition of Hilfiger.

Reached by telephone in Dubai, where Hilfiger opened a store this week, Gehring said his top priority will be to raise the quality of the U.S. product to bring it in line with the brand’s global positioning. “One overriding principal will be to try and trade up, not overnight, and become a materially higher brand. It will happen in due course, every season,” said Gehring.

In the U.S., Gehring said the retail and outlet business is very strong and licensing is solid, but the wholesale business has had its struggles. “We’ll approach it with a focus on quality before quantity, and we’ll take it [the volume] down before we build it up.”

Phillip-Van Heusen Prices Secondary Stock Offering
NEW YORK – Phillips-Van Heusen Corp. said on Wednesday that it has priced its secondary offering of common stock at $38 per share. The secondary offering is by holders of PVH’s Series B Convertible Preferred Stock, consisting of nearly 10.1 million shares, issuable upon the conversion of shares of Series B Preferred Stock. Lehman Brothers is the sole book-running manager of the offering. The underwriters have an option to purchase an additional 1.5 million shares of common stock.

For complete coverage, see tomorrow’s WWD.