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IBrands Global Acquires Pam & Gela, Two Tech Companies – WWD

IBrands Global Acquires Pam & Gela, Two Tech Companies – WWD
Written by Publishing Team

IBrands Global has completed its acquisition of high-end casual wear brand Pam & Gela and plans to ramp up e-commerce.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed and IBrands Global CEO Remy Gerson declined to share this information in an interview.

Created in 2014 by Pamela Skyst Levi and Gila Nash Taylor, Pam & Gela hit the scene with name recognition combined with several shoppers. The duo is widely known for starting Juicy Couture and making plush sportswear in millions of closets. They sold the company to Liz Claiborne Inc. which was then in 2003; The company that succeeded Claiborne Fifth & Pacific sold the brand 10 years later to Authentic Brands Group in a cash deal worth $195 million.

Although, or perhaps because of that, they were instrumental in laying the foundation for the esports trend, they faced a much more competitive field by the time Pam and Gila debuted. Gerson said the brand’s reliance on traditional retailers, especially retailers, has been another factor, especially during the pandemic.

“Actually, we don’t feel the need to comment. Simply put, it was a good time for me and Pam to move on and devote our time to other things,” said Nash Taylor, who was not available for an interview via email.

She continued, “I am very excited to create a luxury cannabis brand called Potent Goods with my son Travis. This business is truly an exciting new frontier.”

Mark Wald Gerson, who is the CEO of iBrands Global, started the company about 10 years ago. The elder Gerson has 40 years of experience in the industry, having worked with brands and licenses such as Harley-Davidson, Skechers, Superdry, Lucky Brands, and William Rast, among others. Remy Gerson said the company has annual sales of $250 million.

In his view, as the pandemic has shifted more online sales, wholesale brands should also view this as almost a secondary distribution compared to e-commerce. With this in mind, Pam & Gela is being repositioned as a digital first brand with wholesale distribution playing a supporting role. The brand will continue to work with existing major retailers such as Nordstrom, Intermix, Shopbop, Revolve, Bloomingdale’s and others. Gerson noted that penetrating into the digital space is a challenge, given the investment required for performance marketing such as digital advertising on Facebook and Instagram, and said Pam & Gela’s annual budget will increase by about $5 million.

As part of her growth strategy, Malinda Behrens has joined the company as its apparel division general manager to oversee brand development for Pam & Gela, as well as Bebe, EBY, Alloy and Blue Desire. Most recently, she held the position of Chief Trade Officer at Carbon38. Her professional experience also included a senior executive position at Juicy Couture after the founders exited. In addition, Jamila Booker has been selected as lead designer for Pam & Gela.

Aimed at shoppers aged 35-55, Gerson singled out Lisa Rinna’s “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” fame as the brand’s embodiment. (She is not a brand ambassador.)

Knowing that performance marketing, consumers’ interest in content, and shopping habits are a whirlpool of change, Pam & Gela will introduce new monthly in-season capsule collections and drops and digital marketing that reflects this novelty. “The first thing we will do is wow them with new products on a regular basis, while of course keeping the staples at bay. We will create content that constantly highlights new products. We are already planning regular photo shoots, and book spots with gorgeous models on a regular basis,” Gerson said. “It’s also about getting a great post-production and editing job to get this content published very efficiently.”

Consistently creating content is no small feat, Gerson said, and the preferred medium for video is “more expensive and challenging.” “Basically now, apparel companies and fashion brands are like tech companies and production studios. You compete for consumer attention. What does your customer do during the day? They run and browse their Instagram and TikTok feeds. And every brand out there pays to try to appear in front of them.” The only way you can get a return on that investment is to entice her enough to stop what she’s doing and click on your site and start shopping.”

Gerson said the pandemic has been “difficult” for Pam and Jella, which has been heavily exploited in brick-and-mortar retail. “Not enough work has been done to build the e-commerce business. The brands that have done really well during the pandemic are the ones that have been in a prime position from an e-commerce perspective,” he said.

A look from the Pam & Gela collection.
Courtesy of Pam & Gela

Pam & Gela generated about 10 percent of its total volume via e-commerce and 90 percent of sales from bricks and mortar. In addition to revamping the company’s website and the technology used to support it, the plan aims to boost digital marketing and content creation to connect directly with customers.

The goal is to develop a variety of apparel offerings geared towards the different activities that fill consumers’ days, whether it’s lounging by the pool, picnicking, taking a trip to the beach, skiing, or getting dressed up for a day. With Ibrands, sports and sports styles will be the main categories. In line with the casual trends caused by the pandemic, the company will introduce more casual wear and casual options.

Gerson said, “We believe that Pam and Gila’s girl care about her health, fitness and appearance. Our clients definitely enjoy the essential sports support in their lives. They also love to play sports including winter sports. She is vacationing in Aspen [Colorado]Park City [Utah] or Courchevel [France]. “

The new strategy will include a 20 percent price point cut. Seventy-five percent of production takes place in China and the rest in Los Angeles. Shifting more production to Mexico and the United States is a precaution for supply chain disruptions. “Trucking, at this point, is almost worse than shipping,” Gerson said. “But hopefully that will get better after the new year.”

As an international supply chain platform, IBrands Global understands logistics. In addition to fashion, the company is engaged in food services, health and wellness and consumer products. Referring to the company’s contract with steamship lines, its own fleet of trucks and drivers and seven local warehouses, iBrands Global works with several ports, Gerson said, referring to the company’s contract with steamship lines and its own fleet of trucks and drivers and seven local warehouses.

On the other hand, last month, IBrands Global acquired two tech companies — InCharged and Vendx — that specialize in contactless selling. The two companies are merged under BluLabs, its in-house innovation studio. The plan is to create products across the Ibrands Global portfolio, and to incorporate technology into apparel.

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