US accessories chain Claire’s appoints Ryan Vero as CEO
US jewellery and fashion accessories chain Claire’s has a new leader. The new man in charge of the retailer, which is in the midst of a reorganisation, is Ryan Vero, described by Claire’s as a retail distribution veteran, who has started in his role as CEO in July.
Vero has extensive experience in the distribution sector, and before joining Claire’s he was the president of the Party City Retail Group since 2016. He formerly worked for department store group Sears and for US office supply group Office Max.
“Ryan’s experience in terms of growth through innovation makes him the ideal leader to propel Claire’s into a new era,” said Samantha Algaze, president of the board of directors of Claire's, whose target customers are girls and women aged 3-35.
Vero replaces Kevin Corning, Claire’s CEO ad interim from last March, following the departure of Ron Marshall, the CEO since 2016. Corning will work alongside Vero to ensure a smooth transition, and will then return to his role as board member.
In recent months, Claire's went through a turbulent period. The chain, which operates 2,421 stores and 6,794 concessions worldwide, experienced financial difficulties and was faced with a huge debt. In March 2018, it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection under US receivership law. Claire’s exited from Chapter 11 bankruptcy last October, notably after creditors wrote off debts for $1.9 billion.
The company’s last published results are those of the second quarter of the 2018-19 financial year, released last September. In H1 of the financial year in question, Claire's reported a revenue of $625.5 million (€538.3 million), a slight increase over the $616.3 million (€530.4 million) it generated in the same period the previous financial year. Net losses were down by half, from $27.2 million to $14.9 million.
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