Management Changes at Jones Apparel Group
Jones Apparel Group (www.jny.com), a Fortune 500 Company, is a well-known designer, marketer and wholesaler of branded apparel, footwear and accessories. Jones is best known for their brands including Nine West, Anne Klein and Jones New York. (For full list of brands see bottom of page.) Based in BristolPennsylvania, Jones Apparel Group also runs four offices in New York CityJones has been in business for over 30 years, and markets directly to the consumers by using chains of specialty retail and value-based stores. 
Recently there have been many changes to the Jones Apparel Group that have had an impact on the industry. On February 13th, 2008 it was announced that the l.e.i brand, owned by Jones Apparel Group, Inc. will soon be carried in Wal-Mart stores across the nation.  Beginning in the summer of 2008, l.e.i. clothes will be offered to juniors, junior pluses and girls for the back-to-school shopping season.  L.e.i is a teen clothing brand that stands for Life, Energy, Intelligence.  This brand has been well-known among teens, especially for their denim designs, and was previously available in the department store markets. 
With the implement of exclusively giving Wal-Mart the l.e.i brand, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Jones Apparel Group- Wesley R. Card, had this to say, “We are enthusiastic about expanding our existing relationship with Wal-Mart, and bringing this dynamic junior lifestyle brand to a broader audience. Furthermore, we see this as a great opportunity to utilize Jones' operational skills in partnership with a retailer of Wal-Mart's size and scale. We are confident that with this partnership with Wal-Mart, there is excellent potential to grow and leverage the strength of l.e.i. as a branded resource across categories.”
Since Jones acquired l.e.i in 2002, the brand has been declining in popularity.  The deal to buy l.e.i was worth $385 million.  Changing the image of l.e.i. was put on Jack Gross, who became CEO of Jones’ denim and junior segments in January of 2006.  Gross put l.e.i more into the Jones’ company operations, but sales were not improving.  L.e.i sales, which started at $248 million, have fallen to $70 million, and even the attempt to make the brand more youthful has fallen on deaf ears. “The branding that we had in the national chain channel went a little too youthful," said Gross. "I believe the junior customer is not 13 to 17, it's 13 to 24 or 25 years old. We enhanced the branding to encompass the broader age group of the junior consumer."

The l.e.i sales in Wal-Mart stores will hopefully bring up sales for Jones in the future.  Retail of the pants will be under $20.
Another major change to the Jones Apparel Group has been the announcement of new Vice President of Design for Anne Klein New York.  Ted Kim, who previously worked as Senior Designer for the Michael Kors Collection, was chosen for this position on February 18, 2008.  As Vice President of Design, Kim will be in charge of overseeing the design functions for Anne Klein New York Sportswear.  In the spring of 2009, Kim will be presenting his first line.
Another company of Jones Apparel group, Nine West, has also presented a new addition to their team.  On February 29, 2008, Richard Paterno, 50, was announced as the newly created President of Wholesale Better Footwear Brands starting March 31, 2008.  Paterno has been in the industry for over thirty years, and recently served as President and CEO of Rockport.  He has previously worked as President of Easy Spirit. 
Paterno will be overseeing sales management and business strategy for Nine West’s better wholesale footwear businesses such as Nine West, Bandolino and Easy Spirit.  Paterno will report to Andrew Cohen, Chief Executive Officer of Wholesale Footwear and Accessories.
Also, Nine West Group brought in Patrick McLaughlin as president of Nine West and Boutique 9 Wholesale, starting on March 3, 2008.  McLaughlin, as well as other heads of wholesale better footwear divisions, will report to Paterno.

Written By McCalla, Megan Katherine 

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