Teen apparel retailer Aeropostale Inc is parting company with executive vice president Emilia Fabricant – in a move described by one analyst as "not surprising."

Fabricant was hired in 2012 and was responsible for the brand's design, merchandising and production. Following her departure, which was announced on Friday (19 June) and is effective immediately, the company's senior merchandising team will report to CEO Julian Geiger.

"Over the past ten months, we have carefully instituted structural changes to our organisation that enabled us to balance levels of responsibility and to run our business more effectively," Geiger said, adding: "In conjunction with these changes, I believe that the strength of our senior design and merchandising teams positions us well on our path to profitability."

The retailer, which operates the Aeropostale and P.S. from Aeropostale stores, said is has no plans to replace Fabricant.

"Given the lack of merchandise improvement since Ms Fabricant’s hire in 2012, we are not surprised by the announcement of her departure," says Stifel analyst Richard Jaffe. He adds that despite management’s belief that the company is well positioned for improvement in the 2H15, "we have grown more uncertain."

He cites limited near term reward potential and "significant" risk "given the competitive teen environment and challenges associated with a merchandise turnaround."

There is also "some uncertainty to the back-to-school merchandise deliveries as we believe Ms Fabricant had at least a partial role in their creation," he notes.

Fabricant, the former president of Bebe Stores, was hired to help reposition Aeropostale away from its promotionally-priced logo merchandise to a more fashionable and trend-right assortment.

But while the retailer most recently narrowed its first quarter net loss to US$45.3m from $76.8m, it also recorded a 20% decline in revenues to $318.6m - its worst fall since going public in 2002. Comparable sales were down 11%.

The company cited issues such as merchandise assortment that was not consistent with future direction, unseasonably cool weather, and the West Coast port slowdown for the declines.

"We believe ARO’s future success is predicated on giving the customer what she wants at the right price," Jaffe says, adding: "Only time will tell if management’s updated merchandise assortment resonates with the consumer."