LOS ANGELES, May 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Founded in Newport Beach, CA in 1980 as Pacific Sunwear, Pacsun has evolved well beyond surfwear. The retailer has emerged into one of the hottest brands of the Gen Z market in 2021. Having doubled its digital sales in 2020 and expanding its social media footprint exponentially, Pacsun's TikTok gained over 680K followers and 10.2M likes in one year to help generate the cool factor that the brand is currently enjoying in the $830 billion Gen Z retail industry.
Pacsun announced a leadership transition whereby Alfred Chang, Pacsun President, and Michael (Mike) Relich, Interim CEO of PSEB Group, will be elevated to Co-Chief Executive Officers, and Brieane (Brie) Olson, Pacsun's Chief Brand Officer, will be promoted to President, all of whom have been critical to the brand's remarkable growth over the past several years.
Pacsun was recently ranked as the #3 apparel brand among teens, in The Piper Sandler "Taking Stock with Teens" Spring 2021 report, a product of the company's relentless focus on the brand's strategy, strong social media presence, and partnerships. The retailer also saw rising to the ranks of the #1 women's brand and moved up from #5 from last year, taking the top spot over well-known competitors like Adidas and Hollister.
Much of this current success can be attributed to the team of Olson and Chang, who both joined the company in 2006, learning how to motivate one another through common goals and vision. Chang has served as President of Pacsun since 2018 and has over 20 years of experience in the retail industry, including serving in multiple senior positions, including Gap and Old Navy. His vision for the brand to embrace diversity and inclusion as core brand values and to continue to reach new young audiences through digital, have established Pacsun's clear brand positioning in the marketplace and transformed Pacsun into one of the leading brands for teens and the leader in bringing exciting trends and talent collaborations to its community, while also being responsible for the brands digital first strategy across all touch points.
Chang has applied his theories of youth obsessed marketing, engaging emerging talent and brand relationships to deliver the fashion merchandise that consumers are craving, to spearheading an impressive rise for the youth retailer, including signature achievements in brand merchandising and signing relevant talent partners including Kanye West, Virgil Abloh, Jerry Lorenzo - a corner stone offering for the brand - and many more.
Mr. Relich, who has more than 30 years of retail operations and system experience, has served as Interim CEO of PSEB Group, which owns Pacsun and Eddie Bauer, since August 2020 and previously served as PSEB's Chief Operating Officer. Critical in introducing new systems and establishing a leadership team to operationally meet the needs of Pacsun's digital growth, Relich continues to expand Pacsun's capabilities at the distribution center and fulfillment from stores.
Ms. Olson has over 20 years of experience in the retail industry, starting her career in New York handling merchandising and design for the Accessories and Footwear at J Crew. She then made her way to Northern Italy where she managed the Global product Lines for both Gianfranco Ferre' and Valentino under the Marzotto Group, and then became a partner and GMM for luxury accessory and apparel business Hollywould, before heading back to the states where she oversaw merchandising for Abercrombie & Fitch prior to her tenure at Pacsun. She was named Chief Brand Officer of Pacsun in July 2020, and previously served in multiple senior positions since joining the company.
During her tenure, Olson spearheaded innovative collaborations, including working closely with Kayne West on his first clothing launch for Donda in 2013, and the signing of Kendall + Kylie clothing partnership exclusive to Pacsun when the girls were 12 and 15. Olson also created a number of new categories for Pacsun, including Activewear, Kids and Gender-Free, along with efforts in the gender-free space including Pacsun's recent partnership with the Fashion Scholarship Fund to create a Gender-Free capsule collection. She was the driving force behind investing in digital growth for the group, leading a holistic influencer, store, and employee driven unique content TikTok amplification strategy, which led the brand to grow to over 820k followers, with the goal of 1M this year, and introducing shoppable ads for Instagram.
The brand credits such initiatives as its PacCares social impact program, which includes partnerships with Lady Gaga's Born this Way Foundation, and Girl Up as well as weekly Instagram Live series called PacTalks to address issues of concern for Gen Z, which was kicked off last October by Yara Shahidi and youth activist Naomi Wadler, the Holiday 2020's Better Together campaign cast by Instagram featuring customers and employees, and an all new concept under their Independent Brands Initiative called Circulate Market - a collection from six black-owned brands, curated by current and long-standing Pacsun brand partner Circulate, and its owner Corey Populus, to name a few.
The company represents leading brands including Vans, Jerry Lorenzo's Fear of God Essentials, Champion, John Galt, Kendall + Kylie Jenner, Adidas, and much more, as well as its own labels.
Pacsun generated over $700 million in sales in 2020, representing growth over 2019, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Digital sales more than doubled in 2020, now representing 50% of the brand's sales. 2021 year-to-date sales are up 105% versus the same period last year and are up 48% as compared to the same period in 2019. Digital sales in 2021 have increased 65% versus the same period last year and are up more than 170% as compared to the same period in 2019.
As Co-CEOs, Mr. Chang and Mr. Relich will have distinct oversight of key business functions. Mr. Chang will be responsible for setting and driving Pacsun's brand strategy, including design, merchandising, marketing, retail, and e-commerce. Mr. Relich will oversee operations, including sourcing/supply chain, distribution, planning & allocation, IT, finance, legal, and human resources. Both will serve on the Pacsun Board of Directors. As President, Ms. Olson will continue to have oversight of merchandising/design for both Men's and Women's, as well as brand marketing and creative.
Pacsun is a leading specialty retailer offering a cross-section of emerging brands and trending fashion through the lens of youth culture. Throughout the contemporary, streetwear and active lifestyle markets, Pacsun partners with the best brands to offer curated collections, rare and exclusive products, and creative collaborations on every level. Founded in 1980, Newport, CA. Curated in Los Angeles. Follow @pacsun on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and TikTok.