RYU hires new CFO, secures $4.8 million investment
Following the launch of a new strategic direction earlier this year, RYU Apparel inc. (Respect your Universe) announced on Monday new initiatives that will allow the renewal of the RYU brand.
In a letter to company shareholders, recently appointed CEO, Cesare Fazari, said the Canadian brand successfully raised $4.8 million and hired Alex McAulay as RYU's CFO. McAulay is a certified public accountant with 13 years tenure as an apparel industry executive, with experience in mergers and acquisitions, distribution and ecommerce.
Moreover, Fazari announced a new consulting relationship with Joel Primus, co-founder of Naked Brands Inc. At Naked, Fazari pioneered numerous product launches, established retail distribution relationships with the likes of Holt Renfrew, Nordstrom, Hudson's Bay, and Bloomingdales, as well as brokered celebrity partnerships.
The company is equally set to invest in its e-commerce business with a relaunch via the Shopify platform, coinciding with the kick off of a RYU loyalty program, which will allow customers to earn points through purchases, as well as social media engagements. E-commerce sales currently represent 80 percent of all RYU sales.
Other initiatives include streamlining RYU's design and production, re-establishing production in Canada through the development and launch of a new 'Made in Canada' product line, the planned reopening of its flagship store, and more.
“It goes without saying that this past year has tested both individuals and businesses and in the face of these global challenges I'm delighted to share some of our successes from the renewal of RYU. The past 6 months have been energizing for our team, who was been working on a number of initiatives,” said Fazari.
RYU experienced years of rapid growth before putting the breaks on expansion plans in February. The Vancouver-based athletic brand cited a funding shortage, forcing it to launch a new business strategy to reach profitability.
Following the resignation of the brand's founding-CEO Marcello Leone, it was Cesare Fazari who was named chairman of the board and CEO, in April.
Leone took it upon himself to reinvent RYU in 2015. Having first invested in the apparel line in 2011, he went on to fully acquire it in 2015, overseeing its transformation from mixed-martial-arts brand to athletics maker.
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