LOS ANGELES — Better sportswear vendor Nygard International wants a $400 million business in the U.S. — and it has built a distribution center to back it up.

This story first appeared in the June 4, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The Toronto-based brand, whose ebullient chief executive operates from a private island in the Bahamas, has doubled the size of its distribution center in Gardena, Calif., and pumped $3 million into automation.

The new 280,000-square-foot center is capable of handling $400 million in business annually with half the employees of the previous facility, according to chief executive officer Peter Nygard.

“It allows us to drive down our costs from 8 cents a unit to 4 cents a unit,” he said. “We want our goods to move like a FedEx package, not like a garment.”

Globally, corporate revenues will reach $500 million by yearend, Nygard projected. About half of that will come from the U.S., representing 25 percent growth over last year.

The firm produces under the labels Peter Nygard Signature, Bianca Nygard, Nygard Collection and Lia. Nygard singled out the latter, a private label and branded separates businesses, as an area of strong growth.

The company operates 200 stores in Canada, but has no plans for retail roll-out in the U.S.”

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