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

Diving brief:

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

Overview of the dive:

McCabe’s appointment comes as the company attempts to recover after a turbulent few years. In April 2020, True Religion filed for bankruptcy for the second time since 2017. When the company left chapter 11 in October 2020, Buckley said his restructuring plan had allowed him to reduce operating costs, reduce debt and become profitable.

As the company grapples with its financial issues, True Religion is also pursuing a digital-first strategy. The company seems to have made progress towards increasing e-commerce sales. In December, the company said it grossed $7 million during Cyber ​​Week, up 45% year over year and a record for True Religion. At that time, the company predicted that it would exceed $100 million in online sales in 2022 and expected to meet its goal of reaching 50% e-commerce penetration by the end of this year.

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

“True Religion is at a very exciting time in its nearly two-decade 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 True Religion team in augmenting the incredible business transformation underway with expanded digital capabilities.”

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

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