ANN INC. announced a strategic realignment of its organization to support an integrated stores/ecommerce structure and position the Company for accelerated growth and efficiency.
Commenting on the announcement, ANN INC. President and Chief Executive Officer Kay Krill stated, "Retailing has undergone a sea change over the last few years, driven by the continued rapid shift of consumers' purchasing behavior and the growth of omni-channel shopping.
ANN INC. has been at the forefront of this evolution, investing in the infrastructure and system enhancements that led to the launch of our successful omni-channel platform in 2012. We are taking the next critical step, by realigning our organization to support an integrated stores/e-commerce structure to accelerate our strategic growth agenda and overall financial performance in 2014 and beyond.
"The new integrated structure will enhance our focus on delivering great fashion, building our brands and servicing our clients, wherever and whenever she chooses to shop. In connection with these changes, I am very pleased to announce that Gary Muto has been named to the position of President, ANN INC. Brands, reporting to me, where he will be primarily focused on design, merchandising and marketing for all channels of the Ann Taylor and LOFT brands," said Ms. Krill.
The realignment is expected to result in ongoing annualized pre-tax operating savings of approximately $25 million, of which approximately $15 million is expected to be realized in fiscal 2014. As a result of the strategic realignment, the Company has streamlined its operations, eliminating approximately 100 positions from its corporate workforce. The Company expects to record a pre-tax restructuring charge of approximately $15 million in connection with the realignment, the vast majority of which is expected to be incurred in the fiscal first quarter of 2014.
"The strategic realignment we are announcing today builds on our ongoing initiatives to expand our omni-channel capabilities, enhance the productivity of our store fleet, grow our international presence, and develop new categories of growth, including the launch of the Lou & Grey brand, while also furthering our objective to maximize the profitable growth of ANN INC.," concluded Ms. Krill.
About ANN INC.
ANN INC. is the parent Company of Ann Taylor and LOFT, two of the leading women's specialty retail fashion brands in North America. The Company operated 1,025 Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Factory, LOFT and LOFT Outlet stores in 47 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada as of February 1, 2014.