WEINGLASS SET TO STEP DOWN AS CEO OF MERRY-GO-ROUND
Byline: Carol Emert
WASHINGTON — Leonard (Boogie) Weinglass said he will resign this month as chief executive officer of Merry-Go-Round Enterprises, the Joppa, Md.-based retailer he co-founded, but will remain chairman of the board.
The company has been under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since January.
After nearly a year of running the merchandising operations of Merry-Go-Round, Weinglass has gone back to his home in Aspen, Colo.
He emerged from semiretirement last November to help stem sliding sales, assuming the ceo title from company president Michael Sullivan.
Weinglass said a year ago that when he had his management team in place and when the merchandising was going in the right direction, he would step down from day-to-day management but not leave the company,” a Merry-Go-Round spokesman said. “That’s what’s happening.”
This year, Weinglass said he would probably leave the company after Christmas. The spokesman denied market reports that Weinglass was planning to leave earlier because Merry-Go-Round’s board or financial backers were unhappy with the company’s performance. He added that Weinglass will be an active consultant to the company.
A board member and a bankruptcy adviser contacted Tuesday also said Weinglass is not being pushed out. Fidelity, the Boston mutual fund group that owns 9.5 percent of Merry-Go-Round stock and about $90 million of the company’s debt, declined to comment on the situation.
Merry-Go-Round has closed more than 200 underperforming stores this year. It operates 1,230 units. In August, Merry-Go-Round posted earnings of $4.1 million before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and restructuring charges, the first positive EBITDA since its bankruptcy filing.
Sales of women’s apparel at the chain grew in September against the previous September, while average sales per store fell 6 percent.
Average sales at the Cignal division, which sells dressy apparel for young men and women, grew in September.
The firm’s reorganization plan is expected to be filed Feb. 28. Separately, Charles Fieramosca, former general merchandise manager of Syms, started this week at Merry-Go-Round as vice president of product development.
— Fairchild News Service