Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Quiksilver Names New Retail Chief

Wall Street reaction to Quiksilver Inc.’s new retail executive, Paul McAdam, ranged from approval to wait and see.

McAdam, an outsider to the action-sports business, was recently named senior vice president and general manager for retail of Quiksilver, one of the major players in the surfwear industry. He succeeded Bradley Sell, who continues to work in retail finance for Huntington Beach, Calif.–based Quiksilver. McAdam reports directly to Rob Colby, president of Quiksilver Americas.

McAdam most recently served as chief executive for All Saints North America, whose parent company is London-based contemporary vertical retailer All Saints Spitalfields.

David E. Griffith follows Quiksilver for Roth Capital Partners in Newport Beach, Calif., and he noted that opinions were still forming about Quiksilver’s new hire from the fashion field.

“Quiksilver definitely has an opportunity to raise the profile of their brands through their direct-to-consumer efforts. But how Paul will fit into that approach hasn’t been communicated yet by the company,” Griffith said.

Jeff Van Sinderen follows Quiksilver for Los Angeles–based B. Riley & Co. He thought that McAdam’s hire showed a willingness to experiment on the part of Quiksilver, which maintains a fleet of 650 stores around the world.

In the past year, Quiksilver has opened new retail concepts such as 585 Boardriders, which opened in November in Los Angeles’ Venice neighborhood. During the summer, it opened a boutique in Newport Beach, Calif., for its Waterman line. But whether these new concepts will grow or stay small has Quiksilver watchers guessing.

“They are testing new concepts in retail,” Van Sinderen said. “Although they look interesting and different, we will have to wait for the results to see what elements of those new concepts will need to be refined and whether some or most of the elements will be used in new stores or remodels.”

Retail will be increasingly important to Quiksilver, said Shaheen Sadeghi, who served as president of Quiksilver in the 1990s and, since 1994, has developed specialty shopping centers.

“I think any global brand with $2 billion revenue has to be in the retail space,” he said. “Typical department stores or mall specialty stores do not have the ability to communicate the brand culture and vibe the way Quiksilver can.”

Quiksilver also has been developing new lines. In September 2011, the company announced its Emerging Brands division, which is developing new looks for the more than 40-year-old surf giant.

Quiksilver reported results for the fourth quarter of its 2011 fiscal year on Dec. 15. It reported fourth-quarter revenues increased 10 percent, to $545 million, compared with the same time in the previous year. Same-store sales for stores in its Americas region increased 16 percent, according to company reports. Quiksilver’s Americas region includes sales made in the United States, Canada and Latin America. The company also has a European and Asian division.—Andrew Asch

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