Luxury beauty retailer Cos Bar has hired a new chief financial offer.
Jason Klein is onboard with plans to help guide the company with his real estate expertise as the business aims to open 35 new locations over the next four to five years.
On the financial side, Klein’s focus is going to be on making sure the right processes are in place as the company scales up. “We need to make sure we have that infrastructure in place to grow and do it in the right way,” he said.
“On the store operations, the real estate side, I’ll take a big role in that,” Klein said. “My experience in the past 10, 15 years has been on real estate strategy and development.”
Klein’s résumé includes more than a decade at Gap Inc., where he ascended the corporate ladder from senior financial analyst for legal entity planning and analysis to senior director of real estate finance and strategy for Athleta and Intermix. He helped Athleta transition from a catalogue business into a retailer. After his time at Gap, Klein worked as the cfo and chief operating officer at Peek Kids. At Peek, Klein’s job included looking for acquisition financing (the company eventually ended up filing for bankruptcy) and it was through that process he was introduced to Cos Bar’s private equity investor, Tengram Capital Partners.
“He’s got the finance background for sure, but what he really brings is this very unique view on real estate,” said Cos Bar chief executive officer David Olsen. “He basically did all the real estate strategy for Athleta. He was heavily involved with the real estate strategy for Intermix, too.”
At Cos Bar, Klein’s real estate focus will be on looking at where the customer lives and “really understanding each of the markets, and how best to deploy stores to really meet our customers’ needs,” he said. “Because I’ve been doing this so long, I have a really good knowledge of the productivity of other brands in these markets…to know what has been a productive real estate play,” Klein said. “It is kind of a piecemeal approach…35 stores is a lot, but…where are the best pockets of our customer and of productive competitors? That’s really the exercise.”
“Our average store is about 1,200 square feet, and that has generally worked, but we are going to look at the productivity of going a little bit bigger,” Klein said.
Klein is the second major appointment since Tengram bought a stake in Cos Bar in December. Tengram appointed Olsen, who previously spearheaded Net-a-porter’s beauty operations, in February. Olsen succeeded Cos Bar founder Lily Garfield, who is now chief merchant, while Klein succeeds her son, Oliver Garfield, who is now chief operating officer.