Roots, the Toronto-based casual chain, appointed Nancy Lepler as its chief merchant. Lepler formerly held merchant roles for DKNY Retail /G-111 Apparel Group and Aeropostale.
Lepler, who joins Roots effective May 13, will drive the strategic global product direction and performance of the Company’s merchandising group across all functions and product categories.
“Nancy is a passionate and highly-talented leader with extensive retail and global merchandising experience, who is also an outstanding cultural fit for Roots,” said Jim Gabel, President and CEO, Roots. “She has a proven track record of setting a global product vision for billion-dollar brands and bringing outstanding consumer-focused concepts and products to retail. Just as important, she has a deep love for the Roots brand and a true appreciation for our cabin-meets-city style. We are very pleased to welcome her to the team.”
In her role as chief merchant, Lepler will oversee product design, category management, planning, buying and sourcing across men’s, women’s, kid’s, baby and toddler apparel and accessories, as well as leather goods and footwear. She will report to president and CEO, Jim Gabel, and is joining Roots following the departure of the company’s former chief merchant who left Roots in February 2019.
“I am very excited to be joining Roots, a brand I grew up with,” said Lepler. “I look forward to working with the talented Roots team to bring further excitement to consumers by introducing new products that represent the unique combination of comfort and style that Roots is known for, while also celebrating the brand’s rich 45-year heritage through compelling global product design and merchandising.”
Lepler brings more than 25 years of merchandising and retail experience to Roots from a variety of lifestyle apparel and accessories brands. Her past leadership roles include vice president and general merchandising manager at DKNY Retail /G-111 Apparel Group Ltd. in New York City where she led the strategic omni-channel retail vision as well as merchandising and design for women’s and men’s apparel, accessories and footwear for the DKNY retail and eCommerce channels. Lepler also served as vice president of merchandising for Aeropostale’s billion-dollar women’s apparel, accessories and active divisions, including the development and implementation of brand collaborations. Lepler has also held a variety of other senior merchandising leadership roles including: head merchant at Calvin Klein/ G-111 Apparel Group Ltd.; senior vice president of design and merchandising at the Donna Karen Company; and executive vice president, chief merchandising officer at The Jones Apparel Group.
Fluent in French, Lepler has worked extensively in the U.S. and Canada and holds a fashion merchandising degree from Ryerson University as well as a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Ontario.
Established in 1973, Roots has 114 stores in Canada, seven in the United States, 117 partner-operated stores in Taiwan, 37 partner-operated stores in China, and a global eCommerce platform.