RYU Apparel Inc. said it entered into a consulting relationship with Joel Primus, co-founder of Naked Brands Inc. and hired Alex McAulay as its CFO.
The hires were noted in a letter to shareholders from Cesare Fazari, RYU’s recently-appointed CEO. His letter also highlighted a recent funding raise and progress on e-commerce and supply chain initiatives. The full letter follows.
Dear Fellow Shareholders,
I am thrilled to deliver my first shareholder letter as CEO of RYU following our recently completed milestone financing, which highlights a key turning point in the renewal of the RYU brand and sets important strategic corporate objectives in motion.
It goes without saying that this past year has tested both individuals and businesses and in the face of these global challenges I’m delighted to share some of our successes from the renewal of RYU. The past 6 months have been energizing for our team, who was been working on a number of initiatives including:
- Successfully raising $4.8 million. This raise fortifies our balance sheet and provides the company with the required capital to execute key business objectives and regain profitability in 2021 and beyond.
- Re-launching our eCommerce store on the Shopify platform. The multifold benefits of this new platform launch include improved navigation, enhanced discoverability through SEO and pre-order capabilities.
- Coinciding with our eCommerce store is the kick-off of RYU’s loyalty program points which will allow our loyal customers to earn points through purchases as well as social media engagements
- Ecommerce sales now represent 80 percent of all RYU sales and continue to see exponential growth. Bolstered by the growing online platform, the arrival of RYU’s new products has revived the brand and its cashflow. RYU’s Q1 and Q2 eCommerce revenue increased 80 percent over the same period last year with Q3 and Q4 revenue projected to increase more than double that of 2019’s eCommerce numbers.
- Appointing Alex McAulay as RYU’s CFO. Alex, a CP with 13 years as an apparel industry executive, brings a wealth of experience in mergers and acquisitions, distribution and eCommerce.
- Joel Primus, co-founder of Naked Brands Inc. will enter a consulting relationship with RYU. Joel was the creative visionary behind numerous products at Naked Underwear, establishing retail distribution at Holt Renfrew, Nordstrom, Hudson’s Bay, and Bloomingdales, as well as brokering celebrity partnerships and coordinating the listing of Naked Brands Inc. on Nasdaq. As co-founder of Kosan Travel Co., a travel clothing company, Joel launched one of the most successful Kickstarter apparel products of all time, reaching nearly $1 million in sales in 30 days. Joel was an inaugural BC Business Top 30 under 30 Entrepreneurs in 2014 and has appeared on CBC’s hit show Dragon’s Den.
- Streamlining RYU’s design and production as well as its trusted and valued relationships with manufacturing partners throughout China and globally.
- Further, RYU has also re-established production in Canada. Through the development and launching of “Made in Canada” product lines RYU intends to increase its local production in the years to come.
- Completing RYU’s launch of its best-selling Ethos Collection for fall, including hoodies, crewnecks, bomber jackets, backpacks, and other apparel for both men and women available in multiple colors.
- Restoring our inventory positions, now estimated at $5 million in retail value.
- Finalizing our deposits to ensure an uninterrupted supply of our coming innovative spring collection.
- Decommissioning two legacy eCommerce vendors of RYU and taking full control of Amazon Web Services. This will save monthly billings and simplify operations.
- Completed the consolidation of our warehouses to streamline fulfillment, decrease shipping time and save costs on monthly billing.
- Planned reopening of our flagship store, which will pilot the “RYU Studio” concept. A smart store initiative store which is targeting the implementation of the latest interactive and immersive technologies to enhance the customer experience.
For those of you that are new to our story, we will continue to share consistent updates on our operational progress with our investors. Our common shares currently trade on TSXV under the symbol RYU and the OTCQB under the symbol RYPPF. Further information, including contact information for our transfer agent, auditor, and legal counsel, can be found on the Investor Relations section of our website.
In summary, our significant successes are the result of our incredible team’s diligent perseverance and work ethic. These efforts are enabling RYU to increase its footprint in Canada, the U.S. and beyond. I would like to thank RYU’s shareholders for your support throughout this process and for your belief in our vision. With your ongoing support, we are now positioned to make RYU a dominant industry force.
Cesare Fazari, CEO, RYU