Roots names Nancy Lepler chief merchant
today Apr 23, 2019
Canadian outdoor lifestyle brand Roots announced on Thursday the appointment of Nancy Lepler as chief merchant.
Effective May 13, in this role, Lepler will oversee product design, category management, planning, buying and sourcing across apparel and accessories, as well as leather goods and footwear.
She will replace the company’s former chief merchant who left Roots in February.
"Nancy is a passionate and highly-talented leader with extensive retail and global merchandising experience, who is also an outstanding cultural fit for Roots," said Jim Gabel, president and CEO of Roots, to whom Lepler will report.
"She has a proven track record of setting a global product vision for billion-dollar brands and bringing outstanding consumer-focused concepts and products to retail.”
Lepler has more than 25 years of merchandising and retail experience from a variety of lifestyle apparel and accessories brands. She previously served as vice president and general merchandising lanager at DKNY Retail, of GIII Apparel Group in New York City, as well as vice president of merchandising for Aeropostale's billion-dollar women's apparel, accessories and active divisions.
She has also held a variety of other senior merchandising leadership roles including at Calvin Klein; Donna Karan and the Jones Apparel Group.
Roots ended fiscal 2018 with a net sales jump of 0.9 percent reaching $329 million. The Canadian company said full-year direct-to-consumer sales were down 0.1 percent at $283.9 million, compared to $284.1 million seen last year, but were up 1 percent when excluding the additional week in 2017.
The Toronto-based company is continuing to grow in its main markets: Canada, the U.S. and Asia, while it also focuses on product development in leather and footwear.
Most recently, it opened a new store and website dedicated to the Hong Kong market through its retail operating partner in Asia, Branded Lifestyle Group.
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