US: Gap taps H&M's Larsson to lead Old Navy business
Stefan Larsson is tasked with growing Old Navy’s domestic and international business
Speciality clothing retailer Gap Inc has named H&M executive Stefan Larsson as the new global brand president of its Old Navy unit, tasked with growing its domestic and international business and replacing Tom Wyatt who resigned in February.
Larsson will join the company by October, and brings nearly 15 years of experience with leading fashion retailer H&M to the role. He was most recently head of global sales, responsible for about 2,300 stores worldwide.
"Stefan is a rising star within apparel retail, with proven experience in the value sector," says Glenn Murphy, Gap Inc chairman and CEO.
"He's tackled some of the most complex challenges in our industry and has a deep appreciation for the need to balance great product and operational excellence.
"Stefan understands Old Navy's unique brand positioning and significant potential for future growth in North America and around the world."
As H&M's head of global sales, Larsson oversaw all customer-facing aspects of the business, including product and visual merchandising, store operations, store design and development, inventory management, and customer service.
He was also part of the team responsible for growing H&M, with revenues increasing from about $3bn to $17bn and operations expanding from 12 to 44 countries.
"Given his accomplishments, product insights, and global outlook, Stefan's vast experience not only benefits Old Navy but will help Gap Inc on multiple levels," Murphy adds. "He's a strong addition to our senior management team."
Old Navy is the San Francisco based specialty clothing retailer's largest chain, with 1,016 stores and net store sales of $5.04bn. It is planning to open its first Old Navy store outside North America, in Japan, in July.
However, the value-driven unit has seen sales slump after broadening its product range and price points at the same time its shoppers started tightening their belts. Comparable sales dropped 6% at Old Navy in the fourth quarter to 28 January, and slipped 3% across the year.
Wyatt stepped down in February after a four-year tenure as president of Old Navy. For two years before that he had served in roles leading the Gap Body and Outlet businesses.
Nancy Green, EVP and chief creative officer, and Tom Sands, EVP of stores and operations will continue to jointly lead Old Navy until Larsson joins the company later this year.
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