While financial terms of the GCI deal were not disclosed, the family-funded private equity firm will hold a sizable minority ownership stake in River’s End and work in close partnership with the apparel company. “GCI’s partnership will allow River’s End Trading to accelerate work on our strategic initiatives: stronger organization, improved infrastructure, innovation, and strong relationships,” Maher told Counselor.
With more than two decades of experience in the apparel industry, Maher replaces longtime River’s End executive Dick Ward. Previously, Maher was a key officer at Lands’ End Outfitters (asi/250566), most recently serving as senior vice president and general manager. “I am excited to be part of the River’s End Trading team of employees, sales representatives and partners as we build on the solid foundation that has made the company a top corporate and golf apparel supplier,” Maher said.
In the short term, Maher’s goals include improving inventory management, expanding assortment, making quality hires for important positions and successfully completing the consolidation of facilities. Longer term, the CEO aims to expand the number of recognized brands the supplier offers, build its own River’s End and Page & Tuttle brands, and enhance his company’s in-house apparel decoration capabilities. “Our focus is to help our customers build their customers’ brands,” said Maher. “It’s about marrying strong products with great decoration to bring a brand to life.”
Counselor ranks River’s End Trading Company as the 17th largest supplier in the industry, after the Minnesota-based company reported 2012 North American ad specialty sales of $92.7 million.