Cotton On continues to firm up its executive ranks in the U.S. with a new head of marketing and e-commerce charged with building a team that will help continue the retailer’s trajectory.
Anthony Gardner is set to relocate to the company’s La Mirada, Calif., headquarters in mid-May from New York as Cotton On Group USA’s head of marketing and e-commerce. Although, he hinted that the company is eyeing possible new office space. Gardner most recently headed up global creative and marketing operations at Gap Inc. He was with the company for about 20 years and left roughly nine months ago to take time off and “find the right place for me for the next 20 years,” he said.
“Cotton On is one of these brands that I had been watching,” Gardner said. “It is a growing brand around the world and it’s just now starting to make a presence in the U.S. market and it just seems like the right time to join. The U.S. market is hungry and ready for new, innovative brands.”
The retailer is already sizable Stateside with more than 3,000 employees and 121 stores in 13 states. Most of those doors are in California and the broader West Coast. The company, which does about $1 billion in sales, is on track to hit $1.4 billion this year.
Gardner said his initial efforts will focus on building out the rest of his marketing team with a focus on in-store communications and no major initiatives planned yet in the way of ad campaigns saying the approach would “start small and get big.” Much of the outward-facing work in the next 12 months will focus on influencers and social media, in line with the company’s use of non-traditional marketing pushes, Gardner added.
“The Australian culture of this brand and its heritage will not change,” he said. “It’s how we bring that to the U.S. market and making sure the Australian lifestyle really fits. It’s very effortless and laid back and that’s why I think it’s just the right time and the right brand to enter the U.S. market.”