BROMER PRESIDENT OF 7TH ONLINE
Byline: Valerie Seckler
NEW YORK — Wasting nary a moment in appropriating some of the $5 million it has secured since July, fledgling business-to-business fashion marketplace 7thOnline has just named apparel industry veteran Elissa Skala Bromer as its first president of global sales.
“Strategically, the business world has changed drastically since 9/11,” Bromer told WWD. “I expect a major shift in the way in which people in the fashion industry will want to buy and sell goods. It’s up to savvy sales and marketing people to rid the supply chain of inefficiencies and boost ROIs [return on investments].”
Bromer, who is expected to finalize details of her employment package this week, joins 7thOnline from Kellwood Co., where she was president of the Bill Burns bridge division, comprising Bill Burns Signature suits and Burns separates, which bowed last February.
Prior to joining Kellwood in January 2000, Bromer, 47, had been president of Liz Claiborne Collection from October 1997 through August 1999, and before that, she was an executive at Andrea Jovine Sportswear, rising to become its president in 1995.
“With the hire of Elissa, we finally have a good team together to execute our strategy and start building some momentum,” said Max Ma, 7thOnline’s chief executive officer and technical expert.
Bromer is the second heavy hitter 7thOnline has hired in the past month, having signed on Victoria’s Secret and Saks Fifth Avenue veteran Louise Chazen in September as its president. Chazen joined chairman Chaim Edelstein at the helm of the B2B marketplace, where she is expected to ply her considerable network of fashion industry contacts, much as former Abraham & Straus chairman Edelstein has done.
Upon securing $3 million in Series A institutional financing this July, Edelstein declared that hiring a top executive to lead 7thOnline’s sales effort was a priority — both to build scale and cater to the individual needs of its clients. Indeed, the numerous dot-bombs among B2B marketplaces this year have illustrated that the one-size-fits-all approach is a losing one for online showrooms.
With 15 vendors on its roster — including Leslie Fay, Hartmarx, Ocean Pacific and Donna Ricco — 7thOnline expects to facilitate B2B transactions amounting to $1 million this year and $10 million in 2002. Vendors seeking to sell at 7thOnline pay a page fee for their e-showrooms and fees on transactions. Retailers register, but don’t pay, to shop the Web site, as is typical of B2B marketplaces.