Jon Caplan, CEO of Johnston & Murphy and Genesco's Branded Group, will retire in June, according to a press release published Monday by Genesco Inc., which runs several retail banners in the U.S., Canada and Europe.
Caplan is a longtime veteran of the company — beginning at the Johnston & Murphy footwear brand in 1982 — and, after a decade away, returned in 2002 to lead the two units. He was "instrumental in the brand's transformation from a heritage dress shoe brand into a true lifestyle brand," the company said.
Danny Ewoldsen, who has been reporting to Caplan as president of Johnston & Murphy for a year, will take over from him at the footwear, apparel and accessories brand, according to the release. Ewoldsen has been at the brand for 16 years, previously also serving as executive vice president, retail and e-commerce.
After some bumpy months tussling with activist investors, Genesco has a smooth transition to report.
The company — based in Nashville, Tennessee — sells footwear, headwear, sports apparel and accessories in more than 2,650 retail stores and leased departments the U.S. and abroad. Journeys is one of its most recognized domestic banners.
In December, the company sold its Lids brand for $100 million in cash to FanzzLids Holdings, a company controlled and operated by affiliates of investment firm Ames Watson Capital, which includes Fanzz, a specialty retailer of licensed sports apparel. The deal was struck after months of agitation from investors who had grown impatient with the brand's drag on sales.
Last month, the company reported that comparable sales, including both stores and direct sales, rose 4% for the quarter-to-date period ended Jan. 10. Store comps rose 3% and digital comps rose 8%, according to a company press release. In that period, comps at Johnston & Murphy rose 5% and at Lids rose 2%, but they declined 9% at the company's U.K. footwear brand Schuh Group.