NEW YORK — Jay Margolis on Tuesday was named chairman and chief executive officer of Caché Inc., the ailing retailer known for its tight-fitting dresses.
This story first appeared in the February 6, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
With Margolis’ appointment, Thomas Reinckens chairman and ceo, will step down.
Also on Tuesday, Caché reported third-quarter results, as well as an $8 million rights offering, subject to shareholder approval. Margolis will invest $1 million personally in the newly issued shares, which will be used to provide enhanced liquidity.
Caché’s loss for the third quarter ended Sept. 29 deepened to $6.4 million, or 49 cents a diluted share, compared with a year-ago loss of $1.8 million, or 14 cents. The performance was attributed to slumping demand for its products as well as a higher tax-related cost for the period.
“It’s an amazing opportunity,” Margolis said in an interview with WWD Tuesday afternoon. “We have 250 mall [stores] with great landlords and an online business that’s grown nicely and can continue to grow. I compare Caché to Net-a-porter, which aggregates products and puts them out.”
“If he can reinvent the company, I think he’s capable of a home run,’ said Gilbert Harrison, chairman of Financo, referring to Margolis. “He’s developed a very good understanding of the marketplace.”
Margolis’ goals for Caché include television home shopping and department store distribution. “Caché could be a very powerful brand,” he said. “I’m not sure why Caché couldn’t be on TV. Could it be sold at Bloomingdale’s or Macy’s? It could. Caché has great sexy positioning, but it’s tried to be too many things to too many people. It got a little older.”
Margolis compared Caché to “Bebe or White House|Black Market or Victoria’s Secret — some of the sexier lines that are out there. We do great dresses,” he said. “We’ve had some misses in terms of sportswear. I’m looking to rebalance [the assortment]. We have great dresses now rolling out that are a little simpler and cleaner.”
Margolis said he has no plans to make personnel changes. However, in October, Caché announced it had retained Berglass+Associates to assist in the search for a chief merchandising officer. Nor does he plan to close stores, and he might even consider bigger stores when productivity increases. Caché may enter new product categories such as innerwear and jewelry. “I have a lot of friends in the industry, on the design, store and technical sides,” he said, adding that he plans to tap those contacts.
Margolis’ career in the apparel industry has spanned 30 years. In 2005 he became president and ceo of Limited Brands’ Apparel Group, which consisted of Express and Limited Stores and was credited for leading the brands’ turnaround prior to their sale. Before that, Margolis was president, chief operating officer and director of Reebok International. Prior to that, he was chairman and ceo of Esprit USA and vice chairman of Tommy Hilfiger.
Since leaving Limited Brands, Margolis has been a board member of Burlington Coat Factory, Boston Beer Co. and Godiva, as well as contributing editor to Bloomberg Television. “I won’t have much time for that now,” he said somewhat wistfully. “I love the people at Bloomberg.”