Tilly’s CEO Ed Thomas Exits
Ed Thomas, the longtime CEO of large industry customer Tilly’s, is retiring effective immediately, the company announced Monday.
Company co-founder, Executive Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer Hezy Shaked will take his place until a new CEO is found.
Thomas, a retail industry veteran who joined Tilly’s in 2015, spent a lot of his career in teen retail, will long stints at both Wet Seal and Tilly’s.
News of his departure comes during a rough patch for Tilly’s and many other teen retailers after the stimulus-fueled COVID-19 spending boom in 2021. Tilly’s and others have been battling the impacts of inflation, which has hurt younger shoppers in particular, in addition to rising interest rates and operating costs, among other issues.
For example, in fiscal 2022, Tilly’s total sales dropped 13.3% to $672.3 million, largely due to the tough comparisons from record sales in 2021.
The company, which operates 251 total stores across 33 states, had hoped results would improve in fiscal 2023, but the challenges have continued.
Most recently, the company said its holiday sales did not meet expectations, with total sales for the nine-week period ended Dec. 30 falling 7.4% from a year ago to $139.7 million.
The decline, on a channel basis, was led by a 12.3% drop in physical store net sales.
The holiday results prompted Tilly’s to revise its guidance downward for the fiscal fourth quarter, which ends Feb. 3.
Sales in the current quarter are now estimated to be between $169 million and $172 million, compared to earlier guidance of $172 million to $178 million. The company’s now projecting a loss in the fiscal fourth quarter of 20 cents to 24 cents, which is up from an earlier estimate of a loss per share in the range of 12 cents to 20 cents.
Here at SES, we have known Thomas during his long tenure as Tilly’s CEO, and appreciate him working with us over the years. He seems to live and breathe retail, and it was always great to pick his brain about the industry. We wish him the very best in his retirement.
Shaked, who started the business in 1982 with his now ex-wife, Tilly, has had many stints as CEO. While the business was growing, he led the operational, financial, and strategic side of the company, while Tilly focused on the merchandising and product, and building relationships with industry brands.
Shaked, who immigrated to this country from Israel with no money, first got into the retail business at swap meets. The family business grew from there, and Tilly’s eventually went public in 2012 with an initial public offering that raised $124 million and exceeded expectations.