Portland, OR -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/15/2014 -- Respect Your Universe, Inc. (otcqb:RYUN) TSX Venture (RYU.V) ("RYU"). In a recent interview with Uptick Newswire staff, Marcello Leone, CEO, President and Chairman of the Board for RYU, describes how he and the new RYU leadership team have executed a textbook turn-around: raise cash, cut costs, improve logistics and supply chain, reduce inventory, increase gross margins and created a plan for growth and expansion.
Just a few months ago Respect Your Universe, a sports oriented apparel brand was in debt, had 127,000 units of inventory sitting on shelves, $350k to $400k monthly burn rate, a lease on a building in Portland, Oregon, that was not best suited to their needs, a long logistics and supply chain, only a handful of retail stores, no more than $2 million in annual sales, and no positive cash flow.
In May of 2014, Marcello Leone of the Canadian fashion retailer, “Leone”, described as one of the leading fashion destination retailers in North America, which represents exclusive fashions from the world’s top designers, including Versace, Prada, Dior, Burnello Cucinelli, and Gianvito Rossi, took over leadership of the RYU brand.
In an exclusive interview with Uptick Newswire, Marcello Leone tells us that since he has stepped in to lead, RYU has reduced overhead to $120k per month, sold 40,000 units of inventory while maintaining margins, negotiated out of the Portland, Oregon, lease, moved their operational headquarters to Vancouver, Canada, reworked their supply chain to ‘Just In Time’ with 8 cycles per year, renegotiated better terms and costs with suppliers and manufacturers, and increased gross margins.
Leone reached into his personal rolodex, raised an additional $3.5 million in equity, and recruited experienced fashion industry talent including:
Manfred Vollmer as Chief Operating Officer. Manfred joins RYU with 30+ years of international experience in retail, real estate, operations and strategic planning. Manfred’s past roles include lululemon, 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, Wal-Mart, IKEA, Metro Group and institute B. As the Director of Store Development at lululemon, he led the strategic implementation of 40+ new stores in Canada and the U.S. Manfred was instrumental for the early development of IKEA’s supply chain management from suppliers to warehouses to stores to customers and with retail expansions into new countries.
Juliet Korver as Product Design Director. Juliet's experience includes Lululemon, O'Neill, and Filmar. With Filmar Corp., Juliet helped develop private label products for many top brands in the outdoor and performance sports markets, including North Face, Vans, Marmot, Spider, and Swix.
Damien Kelly, President of Bad Monkey Design, as Head of Research and Design. Damien’s client base includes Thule, Lululemon, Atomic, Simms Fishing, Race Face, Sitka Gear, Blurr, and Marmot.
Treya Klassen, President of Performance Textiles, is the former Director and President of AnK Apparel Manufacturer, a leading technical apparel manufacturer in Canada and Asia. AnK's customers included Polo RLX, Lululemon, Eddie Bauer, Cabelas, Sitka, Gander Mountain, Department of National Defense, Mountain Equipment Co-Op, and Arcteryx.
According to Marcello Leone, with no debt, new cash, and new leadership, Respect Your Universe is now positioned to launch a new e-commerce site in February of 2015, a new and dynamic apparel line in the Spring of 2015, is expanding through international brand license agreements, and has set their sights on developing 43 new retail outlet relationships over the next 4 years.
The 10K for 12/31/13 shows: $250,000 cash, $1,800,000 inventory, $1,600,000 A/P, $630,000 debt, Negative gross margins.
The most recent 10Q filed for 6/30/14 shows: $2,250,000 cash, $1,550,000 inventory, $968,000 A/P, $500,000 debt.
The sports apparel sector has been growing at a pace of $6 billion per year. RYU is focused on serving the multi-sport athlete who enjoys exercise, play, and looking good. Multi-sport athletes tend to participate in a variety of fitness activities including biking, cross-fit, walking/hiking, dance, aerobics, racquetball, martial arts, and weight training.
RYU recently executed a 1:2 reverse stock split and maintained original share valuations even after the split.
Respect Your Universe, Inc. is a global performance training and fitness brand with origins in the movements and philosophy of martial artistry, created for the multisport athlete. RYU delivers uncompromising style, comfort, durability, and function for our customers. We exist to facilitate the best in human performance. For more information, visit http://www.ryu.com/.
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