The Athlete’s Foot names Matt Lafone as president, GM of Americas
The Athlete’s Foot named on Wednesday veteran retail executive Matt Lafone as its new president and general manager of Americas.
In this role starting immediately, Lafone will be responsible for providing leadership, strategic and operational guidance to the Americas team with the goals of driving profitable growth, building brand equity, and enhancing customer satisfaction.
Lafone joins The Athlete’s Foot from Payless ShoeSource where he was COO overseeing design, development, supply chain, marketing and franchising for its 750 international stores.
Prior to Payless, Lafone held the role of vice president of sport style with Puma, where he was responsible for driving wholesale revenue leading sales, planning, marketing and merchandising strategies.
He will report directly to the company’s new owner and global executive chairman, Param Singh, while supporting his new strategic vision, that builds on the brand’s success in recent years.
“Matt is well known in the industry as a fantastic leader, execution-focused operator and transparent communicator. He’s also perfectly aligned with the values of our organization and firmly committed to the future success of the company,” said Singh, whose company, Arklyz Group, acquired The Athlete’s Foot in July after a long-term partnership with its previous parent company, Intersport.
“While The Athlete’s Foot is without a doubt a global company, the U.S. and the Americas are critical to our foundation and our future, and I am confident that with Matt’s leadership we can continue to grow this well-respected legacy brand into a global powerhouse.”
Globally, The Athlete’s Foot retail sales are on target to hit $500 million in 2021 and have seen robust growth above 40 percent in the first six months of 2021 vs 2020 and 14 percent above sales in 2019. The Athlete's Foot has 564 stores and e-commerce shops across 32 countries.
This year also marks its 50th anniversary, which will be celebrated globally as of this month, highlighted by commemorative product launches, events and a 50th anniversary documentary.
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