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Forever 21 turns to retail veteran Winnie Park as CEO

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Based on a publication from Daphne Howland in Retail Dive, Forever 21 turns to retail veteran Winnie Park as CEO.

Forever 21 recurre a la veterana del retail Winnie Park como CEO

Dive Brief:

  • Paper Source CEO Winnie Park has joined Forever 21 as chief executive, effective immediately, the fast-fashion retailer announced on Wednesday.
  • Park held the top spot at Paper Source for the past six years. In that time she oversaw the retailer’s expansion into a lifestyle brand and its sale to an affiliate of bookseller Barnes & Noble, per the release.
  • Paper Source didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on its plans for Park’s replacement.

Dive Insight:

This is Forever 21’s second attempt at filling this post after its bankruptcy, and follows Daniel Kulle’s abrupt departure a few months ago, after less than two years in the role.

Kulle, who has experience in fast fashion from his years at H&M, took the helm of a retailer that had remained in the control of its founders for decades and was fresh out from under Chapter 11. The Sparc Group, a joint venture of mall REIT Simon Property Group and brand conglomerate Authentic Brands Group, has owned Forever 21 since buying it out of bankruptcy in 2020.

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Park, who reports to Sparc CEO Marc Miller, boasts decades of fashion and retail experience, according to the press release. Before joining Paper Source, she spent nine years at LVMH-owned luxury retailer DFS, where she launched its first global e-commerce site for fashion, beauty, watch, jewelry and spirits. Before that she led women’s merchandising at Levi Strauss-owned Dockers, and began her career at McKinsey & Company in fashion retail and consumer digital. In a statement, she also called herself «a longtime shopper and admirer» of Forever 21.

She is taking over not only after a leadership hiccup, but also amid signs of decline in fast fashion. The segment has suffered as consumers increasingly take sustainability into account when they spend. Still, Chinese fast-fashion e-retailer Shein has shown how the model retains market power.

In a statement, Miller noted that Forever 21 itself notches $2 billion in sales, and said that’s poised to grow with Park at the controls.

«She is an inspirational leader and team builder who brings deep omni-channel experience and a track record of successfully growing businesses with particular strengths in strategy, merchandising, marketing and branding,» Miller said.

This article was originally published in Retail Dive


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