True Religion hires Columbia Sportswear vet for key e-commerce role

Dive Brief:

  • In pursuit of a direct-to-consumer strategy, True Religion has appointed Scott McCabe to serve as its senior vice president of e-commerce, the company announced on Tuesday.
  • McCabe brings 25 years of prior experience with retailers and brands like Columbia Sportswear, Tailored Brands, Macy’s, Gap and Banana Republic, per the announcement.
  • True Religion CEO Michael Buckley said the company aims to triple online revenue and reach 50% e-commerce sales penetration by 2025, two goals that McCabe’s expertise will help with.

Dive Insight:

McCabe’s appointment comes as the company tries to turn itself around following a turbulent few years. In April 2020, True Religion filed for bankruptcy for the second time since 2017. When the company exited Chapter 11 in October 2020, Buckley said its restructuring plan enabled it to cut its operating costs, decrease its debt and become profitable.

As the company addresses its financial troubles, True Religion is also pursuing a digital-led strategy. The company appears to have made progress toward increasing e-commerce sales. In December, the company said it made $ 7 million during Cyber ​​Week, up 45% year over year and a record for True Religion. At that time, the company forecast that it would surpass $ 100 million in online sales in 2022 and expected to achieve its goal of reaching 50% e-commerce penetration by the end of this year.

In True Religion’s announcement regarding McCabe, the company touted his prior achievements at Columbia Sportswear, another brand that has emphasized a direct-to-consumer strategy. During his time at Columbia, the brand tripled its e-commerce sales and maintained double-digit year-over-year revenue growth. The brand also grew its active loyalty memberships by 65%.

“True Religion is at a very exciting moment in its almost twenty-year history as e-commerce becomes an even more important channel for the consumer,” McCabe said in a statement. “I’m excited to join Michael and the rest of the team at True Religion to augment the incredible business transformation underway with expanded digital capabilities.”

True Religion and Columbia Sportswear join other brands, such as Adidas, Nike, and Levi’s, that are pursuing a direct-to-consumer strategy and de-emphasizing wholesale. Though the DTC model is popular, many brands maintain a hybrid approach, and even digital-first brands like Casper have expanded into wholesale deals to scale.

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