Maggy London

Press enter to search
Close search
Open Menu

Maggy London

12/01/2007
Founded in 1979 as a ladies' silk dress resource by Larry Lefkowitz and Milton Cahn, with just two employees -- a shipping clerk and a bookkeeper -- Maggy London today has 340 employees and multiple divisions, operating under the labels Maggy London, London Times, Donna Morgan, Ali Ro, Suzi Chin for Maggy Boutique, Muse, Anthracite and Shani, carried in more than 3,000 specialty stores and major department stores.
 
The company's target customer has remained essentially the same over the years, although many of today's designs are aimed at a younger demographic. A major recent change, however, involved expansion into moderate price points for some of its divisions.
 
In 1996, the company started to expand, with its annual $88 million business increasing to $172 million in 2007. This was accomplished through a combination of internal growth, adding new divisions and a surge in private label manufacturing for retailers.
 
The firm expects to ship 4.5 million units this year, up from 2.7 million units in 2006. Other plans include opening up a second 27,000-square-foot warehousing and distribution center in Carlstadt, NJ, as it has outgrown the capacity of its nearby 80,000- square-foot facility.
 
Creative freedom
Maggy London's success stems largely from a highly involved CEO and executive management team who give employees room to be creative, says Jerry Sholtz, corporate senior vice president for finance and administration. "The company hires the right people for the job and empowers them to get it done," he says.
 
Maggy London's various operating divisions work with a lot of autonomy. "We team up a strong businessperson with a great designer and let them create their own magic," Sholtz says. "It has to be the right two people. Then they are pretty much on their own to design whatever they want and sell to whomever they want."
 
The best part about working for Maggy London, says Sholtz, is that the "door is never closed." "Employees have the ability to interact with the upper management of the company on a daily basis," he says.
 
Expanding horizons The firm's success with the expansion into the moderate business has exceeded expectations. "Venturing into the moderate business has expanded our customer base," says Sholtz.
 
To improve communication with its factories, the company invested in New Generation Computing's entire software suite, including RedHorse for raw materials control, e-SPS for global sourcing and e-PDM for product lifecycle management. The solution is currently being implemented in one of its divisions, with plans to be fully rolled out in all divisions by spring 2008.
 
"It's going slowly, because you have to change the mentality of how people are operating. But it's moving along and we're going to get there," says Sholtz. "It will put everyone on the same platform dealing with the same information instantaneously -- our production people here, our factories overseas, and our Hong Kong office -- everybody around the world."
 
The company's technology investments have also benefitted from the same level of corporate support that makes the design and sales teams so successful, says Lisa West, corporate director of supply chain management systems at Maggy London. Upper management has assigned the most experienced personnel to the PLM implementation, says West.
 
But what really defines the company is its reputation, according to Sholtz. "People find us very honorable and straightforward. We bend over backwards to meet our customers' needs."  v
 
 
 

RELATED TOPICS