Forever 21 has named Michael W. Kramer its new chief financial officer.
Kramer, who starts Monday, reports directly to founder and chief executive officer Don Chang.
Kramer has more than 20 years experience in the retail industry. He has held stints at several high-profile companies: president and ceo Kellwood Co.; chief operating officer at J.C. Penney Co. Inc., and cfo at both Abercrombie & Fitch and Apple Retail. Kramer’s experience in the sector have been during both high growth periods and operationally during transformative periods of change.
Chang said, “Michael has a deep understanding of the critical business drivers and strategic opportunities for brands operating across multiple markets and will be a valuable asset to our entire organization.”
Kramer said, “With a strong brand and impressive management team, I am eager to start working and collaborating with the entire Forever 21 organization to further capitalize on its leading position in the industry and continue its growth to the benefit of customers, partners and team members.”
Kramer succeeds Elizabeth Jain, who resigned June 10 to pursue other opportunities closer to her family and home. She held the position for six years. In the interim, the company’s head of corporate strategy had oversight over accounting and tax functions, finance, treasury and payroll matters.
The retailer continues to be dogged by rumblings that it hasn’t been doing well and that sales have been slowing. The company was in talks last summer for a $150 million loan but never went through with the funding.
Chang said in June, when those rumblings resurfaced after the cfo left the company, that “Forever 21’s business remains solid.”
The company has been actively opening Forever 21 and F21RED stores in new locations and markets around the world. And if anyone thought prices were about as low as they can get at Forever 21, the fast-fashion chain’s prices are at an even lower price point at its RED concept store.
Perhaps the biggest beef among some credit analysts and factors that track the company’s financials is that the information isn’t being timely reported. They try to track the information so they can provide up-to-date evaluations on credit requests from clients who ship to the retailer. As a privately held firm, Forever 21 isn’t required to provide information on the same timeline that’s required of public firms.