Stitch Fix adds seasoned CFO
Stitch Fix on Monday announced the appointment of Paul Yee as chief financial officer.
Yee most recently served as global chief financial officer at People Against Dirty, the makers of Method and Ecover, where he led teams in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific, and oversaw finance, accounting, treasury, IT and legal. He also worked at brands including Peet's Coffee, Gap and Old Navy.
Earlier this year the online personal styling service — which last month said that it had $730 million in revenue in the 2016 fiscal year, marking its third consecutive year of profitability, pushed back against rumors that it was turning down late-stage investments to clear a path to an initial public offering.
Founded in 2011, Stitch Fix has garnered backing from venture capital firms Baseline Ventures, Benchmark, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Western Technology to the tune of $46.75 million in three rounds, most recently $30 million in 2014. Yee could be on board to ready the startup for an IPO, otherwise help shore up its financial planning and accounting or simply replace former CFO Michelle Weaver, whose spot has been vacant since she left late last year.
"Paul's deep financial experience with strong consumer brands will be invaluable as we continue to personalize the shopping experience for men and women," founder/CEO Katrina Lake said in a statement. "His passion for art and science aligns with our brand philosophy, and his leadership will be a tremendous addition to Stitch Fix's executive team and our growth as a company."
The online personal styling space is pretty crowded, with rivals MMLaFleur, Tog & Porter, Dia & Co., Bomb Fell, Frank and Oak, Five For Five, Bungalow, Trunk Club and others vying for attention from shoppers and, in some cases, investors.
Despite their popularity among consumers, it’s not clear how these players are doing financially, considering nearly all of them are privately-owned companies. But Nordstrom's Trunk Club, which began as a concierge service for men but now also styles women, perhaps gives a clue to the concept’s viability: While it gets high marks from users, Nordstrom wrote down $197 million of that business last year. Three years ago, Nordstrom acquired the service, started by Bonobos co-founder Brian Spaly (who left late last year as CEO); it’s not yet profitable and the nearly $200 million non-cash goodwill impairment represents more than half of the $350 million Nordstrom paid to purchase it.
To stem those losses, Nordstrom last year instituted a $25 at-home try-on fee (which can be credited to a purchase) and shortened the return window. San Francisco-based Stitch Fix similarly has a $20 try-on fee that can be used toward a purchase and generally offers prices that are lower than Trunk Club thanks, in part, to a less costly styling approach based on inputs from a questionnaire rather than Trunk Club's direct human interaction.
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