News: Duluth Trading CEO resigns & joins Under Armour as President, North America


Duluth Trading CEO resigns & joins Under Armour as President, North America

In the interim, Duluth Trading has appointed Executive Chairman and Founder, Stephen L. Schlecht, as CEO.
Duluth Trading CEO resigns & joins Under Armour as President, North America

Stephanie Pugliese has resigned as president, CEO and board member from American workwear and accessories company, Duluth Trading, after heading the firm for almost four years. In less than 24 hours of Pugliese had left, Under Armour announced that it had appointed Pugliese as president, North America. 

Under Armour, Inc. is an American company that manufactures footwear, sports, and casual apparel. It had opened its first physical store in 2010 and since then it has been able to open stores at 56 locations, and has also introduced a new store concept opening this fall at Mall of America. However, the footwear company has been struggling amid increased competition from brands like Nike, Lululemon and Adidas. In fact, in the second quarter, Under Armour’s North American sales fell 3.2 percent. Pugliese would hence have to work on leading the company’s home market towards growth. 

Under Armour’s President and COO Patrik Frisk expects Pugliese’s demonstrated record of leadership and retail expertise can strengthen the firm’s ability to further amplify Under Armour as the preeminent athletic performance brand in their home market. 

Pugliese has joined Duluth Trading in 2008 and when she became the CEO in early 2015, she led the company through its initial public offering. She oversaw the expansion of the brand, which was founded as a catalog retailer. She has also worked with companies like Lands’ End and Ann, Inc., and held key roles in these organizations. Now how she puts her years of experience and knowledge to foster Under Armour’s growth in North America will be something to watch out for. Considering the amount of competition brands like Nike and Adidas present, Pugliese should focus on driving more innovation. 

Meanwhile, in Duluth Trading Executive Chairman and Founder, Stephen L. Schlecht will take over as interim CEO. The company shall soon begin the search for a permanent successor. Schlecht, who controls a majority of the voting stock of Duluth Holdings Inc. (which does business as Duluth Trading), had previously also served as CEO before Pugliese took on the role.

“To ensure the continuity of our vision and the execution of our strategy, I am fully invested in reassuming the role of its CEO,” said Schlecht. 

Schlecht is confident with the other leaders in her teams and believes that Pugliese’s resignation should not disrupt their business.

In the USA, in particular, Clothing & footwear sales are forecast to grow by $66 Bn during 2018-2023 to reach $535.9 Bn by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 2.7 percent. The report highlights that consumers shift to lower-priced retailers is slowing growth and clothing sector underperforms footwear. Considering, this Pugliese has more opportunities to tap into. 


Image credit: Business Standard

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Topics: Leadership, #Movements

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