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Tuesday, 11-Jan-2011 03:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Chief Financial Officer Michael Kramer takes top post at Kellwoo

Michael W. Kramer, chief financial officer of teen apparel retailer , is leaving to take the top post at apparel maker Kellwood Co., according to the companies.

Kramer will become president and chief executive as of Aug. 18 at Kellwood, which makes brands including Baby Phat and Sag Harbor. He replaces Robert C. Skinner Jr., who had been chairman, president and chief executive and who will resign from Kellwood to pursue other interests.

Chesterfield, Missouri-based Kellwood was taken private by Sun Capital Securities Group LLC in a deal that closed in February.

Kramer joined New Albany, Ohio-based as chief financial officer in 2005. Before that, he was chief financial officer, Apple retail, for Apple Inc.

Like most apparel retailers, has suffered as retailers cut back on discretionary spending amid rising gas and food prices and declining home values. However, teen retailers have been buffered somewhat as parents are likely to cut back on apparel for themselves before their kids.

In May, Abercrombie said it earned $62.1 million, ahead of analyst expectations,latex body while sales rose 8 percent to $800.1 million.

However, sales at stores open at least a year, considered a key indicator of a retailer's strength, fell 3 percent in the quarter.

Thomas Weisel Partners analyst Liz Dunn wrote in a note to clients on Thursday that she understands the "allure" of becoming chief executive of a private company during "choppy" times.

She downgraded Abercrombie to "Market Weight" from "Overweight" due to Kramer's departure.

At a meeting with investors Thomas Weisel hosted last week, "the outgoing CFO assured us that management was not overly concerned about negative (same-store sales) trends, talked extensively about the international growth initiatives and suggested there is ample margin opportunity from here," Dunn wrote. "We are not sure what to make of those assurances now and who is in charge of delivering."


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