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About Lerner New York, Inc.

RTW Retailwinds (formerly New York & Company) caters to working women ages 25 to 49 looking for moderately priced apparel (jeans, dresses, and coordinates) and accessories (sunglasses, jewelry, and handbags). It offers proprietary branded fashions at more than 400 stores in about three dozen US states and online. The company sells merchandise under the New York & Company and Fashion to Figure names and has collaborations with celebrities such as Eva Mendes, Gabrielle Union, and Kate Hudson. RTW Retailwinds was founded in 1918 and changed its name from New York & Company in late 2018.

Operations

RTW Retailwinds' stores average nearly 5,000 square feet and are located in shopping malls, lifestyle centers, outlet centers, and off-mall locations. 

It sources some 95% of its merchandise from three countries -- China, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

Geographic Reach

New York-based RTW Retailwinds has stores in some 35 US states. Its largest markets include California (with about 45 locations), Texas (about 35), Florida and New Jersey (about 30 each), and Pennsylvania (about 25).

Sales and Marketing

In addition to store locations, RTW Retailwinds sells its merchandise via a handful of e-commerce sites, including nyandcompany.com and fashiontofigure.com. E-commerce sales represent nearly a third of total revenue.

To compete in the competitive women's apparel and accessories arena, the company has been gradually increasing its spending on advertising and promotions. The company promotes its brands through direct mail, in-store marketing, digital marketing, email and text messaging programs, social media, public relations programs, and select advertising. The fashion chain targets women between the ages of 25 and 49.

Financial Performance

RTW Retailwinds has seen its revenue fall over the past five years as it has been closing stores amid the tough environment for mall-based retailers. Sales are down 6% since fiscal 2015. After several years of operating in the red, the company has reported small profits the past two years.

In fiscal 2018 (ended January 2019) the company reported revenue of $893.2, down 4% from the previous year. Although comparable store sales increased very slightly (less than half a percent), revenue was hurt by 20-plus fewer stores open at the end of the year.

Net income was down 25% to $4.2 million that year on higher provision for income taxes as a result of a multi-year state tax audit.

Cash at the end of fiscal 2018 was $95.5 million, an increase of $4.6 million from the prior year. Cash from operations contributed $27.1 million to the coffers, while investing activities used $8.2 million, mainly for capital expenditures. Financing activities used another $14.3 million for repayment of long-term debt. RTW Retailwinds is generating cash and has no long-term debt.

Strategy

RTW Retailwinds relies on its sub-brands (which include 7th Avenue Design Studio and Soho Jeans) and celebrity collaborations to distinguish its merchandise from its rivals. After several years of success with its Eva Mendes collaboration, in Fall 2017 the company launched a brand with Gabrielle Union. It has announced for 2019 a digitally-native brand from Kate Hudson called Happy x Nature as well as a new sub-brand Uncommon Sense, which is described as "lingerie-meets-leisure."

As is the case across the entire retail industry, RTW Retailwinds is embracing technology and digital initiatives. The company is particularly focused on creating a seamless omnichannel experience, which allows customers to browse, buy, pick up, and return merchandise online, in stores, or through a combination of both. It invested in improvements to its mobile app in 2018 and in 2019 introduced two new e-commerce sites, happyxnature.com and uncommonsense.com. Digital sales are already a strong (and growing) element of the company's performance, accounting for nearly a third of total revenue.

The company continues to close physical locations as the industry struggles with a decline in foot traffic and competition from online retailers. It is down nearly 100 stores since fiscal 2015.

Mergers and Acquisitions

In early 2018 RTW Retailwinds acquired plus-size fashion retailer Fashion to Figure for $1.4 million in cash plus no more than $1 million of fees and expenses. The company relaunched nearly a dozen Fashion to Figure stores and its e-commerce site that year and has plans for eight new locations in 2019.

Company Background

RTW Retailwinds traces its history to its 1918 founding. The company operated as a subsidiary of Limited Brands for nearly 20 years, starting in 1985. In 2004 it went public as New York & Company. New York & Company changed its name to RTW Retailwinds in late 2018. 

Lerner New York, Inc.

330 W 34TH ST FL 6
New York, NY 10001-2406
Phone: 1 (212) 884-2000

Stats

Employer Type: Privately Owned
Executive Vice President Manufacturing: Mathew Gluckson
Exec Vp and Gen Merchandise Mgr: Leslie Goldmann
Executive Director: Sandra Viviano
Employees (This Location): 320
Employees (All Locations): 2,100

Major Office Locations

New York, NY

Other Locations

Kansas City, MO
New Hyde Park, NY