Mr Hager to oversee the leading western & work wear retailer

April 05, 2008 - United States Of America

BTWW Retail, LP (BTWW), the country's largest Western and work wear retailer, with retail stores including Corral West, Western Warehouse, Boot Town, Sergeant's and Work Wear Depot in 25 states, announced the appointment of Larry Hager as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Mr. Hager succeeds Les Ball, who remains a material stakeholder in the business.

In addition to his duties as CEO, Mr. Hager will serve as the acting CFO of BTWW, a role he has performed for 14 years, and will continue to be a key member of the Board.

"Larry's strategic vision, coupled with his deep experience within the Western retail business over the past 14 years, makes him the ideal choice for leading this Company," noted J. Bryan King, director of BTWW and partner of Luther King Capital Management.

"We have the utmost confidence in Larry and have dedicated the necessary resources to make this transition seamless and successful."

Prior to joining BTWW Retail, Mr. Hager was employed with Montgomery Ward & Co. for 22 years where he served in many capacities, most recently as the Director of Merchandise Planning.

While at Montgomery Ward, he led several very successful strategic initiatives, including repositioning a significant multi-unit division for the company.

He was also instrumental in rebuilding the Corral West stores upon his arrival to that company in 1994 and has been a solid leader through the recent integration of Corral West's 95 stores with the 44 Western Warehouse, Boot Town and Sergeant's stores of BTWW.

"We are on the back stretch of the Corral West-BTWW integration, and I look forward to having one unified vision for BTWW," said Mr. Hager.

He continued, "Our business has a very strong and profitable core, and we remain committed to providing a solid channel of distribution for our valued vendor-partners.

Furthermore, I have the utmost confidence in our management team, both corporate and store-level, to execute our refreshed strategic game plan.

While we are in a challenging near-term retail environment, I am confident that continued close collaboration between our employees, vendors and other constituents will ensure the successful long-term prospects for the Company."

Support from the Company's vendor-partners following Mr. Hager's appointment has also been tremendous. "We would like to congratulate Larry in his new responsibilities and wish him only the best.

Historically, Larry has been a man of his word and a pleasure to work with," said Randy Watson, CEO of Justin Brands, one of the leading brands in BTWW's stores.

Beth Cross, CEO of Ariat International, added, "Larry Hager is a strong, experienced leader, and will be an excellent CEO of BTWW. He has earned the respect and trust of the many key partners of the BTWW group and the industry as a whole.

We look forward to supporting him and his team as they invest to create a unique shopping experience for the western and work wear consumer."