NEW YORK — Barry Aved has stepped down as president of Tarrant Apparel Group for personal reasons.
The troubled private-label apparel maker said vice chairman Todd Kay, who had been president before Aved took the position in September 1999, will assume his duties until a successor has been found.
Aved has been on Tarrant’s board since 1996, and was president of Lerner New York from 1992 to 1996.
Tarrant also said it lost $2.2 million in the fourth quarter after $1.8 million in charges for writedowns of inventory, bad debt and computer upgrades.
Excluding these charges, earnings were $287,000, or 2 cents a share, down from $7.6 million, or 50 cents, a year ago. Sales slid 8 percent to $91 million.
The firm warned in late January that fourth-quarter earnings would tumble 90 percent due to a plant closing, inventory markdowns and costs related to construction of a new plant in Mexico.
The company has also been hurt this past year by a sharp drop in sales to The Limited, which had accounted for 66 percent of sales in 1998 and is expected to generate between 35 and 45 percent of sales in the foreseeable future.
Other major customers are Target, Mervyn’s, Abercrombie & Fitch, Wal-Mart, J.C. Penney and Sears.
In the full year, profits sank to $12.9 million, or 79 cents, from $24.7 million, or $1.71 a year ago.
Sales gained 4.5 percent to $395.3 million.
“We believe we are entering the year as a stronger organization,” said Gerard Guez, chairman and chief executive. “The greater production and cost efficiencies we are seeing from our operations in Mexico and the broader diversification of our customer base leave us well-positioned to capitalize on the future growth potential of our business.”

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