- Andy Gray has been appointed president of Genesco’s Journeys Group, the company announced Tuesday. Gray succeeds Mario Gallione, who announced his intent to retire at the end of the fiscal year after 44 years with Genesco. Gray’s new position is effective Jan. 3.
- Gray is a retail footwear industry veteran. He joins Journeys after 20 years in senior leadership roles at Foot Locker. Gray was Foot Locker’s global president, responsible for the international brand portfolio and all product functions before stepping down in January.
- “Andy brings invaluable expertise in the areas essential to building the Journeys business for the future, along with a passion for leading youth-focused consumer businesses,” Genesco Board Chair, President and Chief Executive Officer Mimi Vaughn said in a statement.
One of Gray’s priorities will be driving strategic growth for Genesco’s largest business unit, the company said.
“I’m incredibly excited to join the Genesco team and to lead Journeys – a retail brand I've long admired,” Gray said in a statement. “I see significant runway to capitalize on its unique positioning in the market, while further leveraging the unparalleled strength of its vendor partnerships,” said Gray.
Before serving as global president of Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, Champs Sports and Sidestep, Gray’s past leadership roles included serving as chief commercial officer, chief merchandising officer and general manager of Foot Locker and Lady Foot Locker North America.
Journeys offers footwear from brands like Converse, Vans, Adidas and Dr. Martens. The mostly mall-based retailer said this summer said it planned to close more than 100 stores. The store closings were expected to save up to $40 million. Journeys is following the lead of other retailers in opening some off-mall locations. Vaughn said during a recent earnings call that early indicators from the company’s off-mall initiative were positive.
The Journeys Group accounted for 62% of Genesco’s net sales in FY23, according to the company’s latest proxy statement. Journeys’ core demographic is 13-to 22-year-olds. As of January, the group had 1,130 stores – 863 Journeys, 233 Journeys Kidz and 34 Little Burgundy stores. Most stores are in malls or outlet centers. Genesco is also the parent company of other footwear brands, including U.K. and Ireland-based Schuh and Johnston & Murphy.
Genesco reported Q2 net sales of $523 million, down 2% from a year earlier. Journeys Group reported $287 million in sales or nearly 55% of net sales for the three months ended July 29. That’s down from $321 million a year ago, or 60% of net sales. The company is expected to report its third-quarter results Dec. 1
Gray’s annual base salary will be $635,000, according to a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. His compensation package also includes a relocation bonus and eligibility to receive company stock, among other bonuses.
Journeys’ leadership team also includes Chief Operating Officer Mike Sypert, who was appointed in August and has been managing daily responsibilities for Journeys, Journeys Kidz and Little Burgundy's businesses. Sypert has been with the company for 34 years and was formerly Journeys’ executive vice president of sales and retail operations.