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Trunk Club’s Brian Spaly to leave the business

Brian Spaly, founder and CEO of Trunk Club, is leaving the business, according to a statement made this week by parent company, Nordstrom.

“Brian has created an incredibly unique business and has been instrumental in getting Trunk Club to where it is today. We now have a strong foundation on which to build and we thank him for everything he’s done to support Trunk Club from its inception and partner with Nordstrom over the past several years. We wish him well as he seeks out new opportunities,” Erik Nordstrom, co-president of Nordstrom, said.

Spaly started Trunk Club in 2009 as an online styling service for men. Customers answer questions about their style, which personal shoppers use to handpick clothing, footwear and accessories. Customers receive trunks filled with these items to try on at home. They keep and pay for the items they like and send the rest back.

US department store chain Nordstrom acquired the business in 2014 for US$350 million, opening bricks and mortar stores, expanding into women’s apparel and introducing – some would say too late – a fee to ship the trunks, which is credited to customers if they make a purchase. Two months ago, Nordstrom announced it would be taking a US$197 million impairment charge on the company.

In an email sent to the Chicago Tribune, Spaly wrote, “I am a big believer that timing is everything — with my first child on the way, a determined and seasoned leadership team in place and a business primed to scale, the time has come for me to move on from Trunk Club.

“I love this company and I’m deeply proud of what we’ve built together. As well, I remain confident in the seemingly limitless potential for our business model to continue to disrupt the conventional retail world.”

Stepping into Spaly’s role is Terry Boyle, president of Boyle will take on leadership of Trunk Club in addition to his current responsibilities.

“Terry comes into this role with a tremendous amount of knowledge about Trunk Club, having served on its advisory board since it was acquired by Nordstrom in 2014. His unique track record in taking startup businesses, building them to scale and supporting their growth, both in and outside of Nordstrom, will enable him to support Trunk Club and the leadership team there during this critical time for that business,” Nordstrom said.

In addition to Boyle, the Trunk Club leadership team now also includes: Kevin Price, who has served as chief financial officer since Trunk Club’s inception and is taking on additional accountability as chief operation officer, Linda Bartman, who recently joined the company as chief marketing officer, and Michael Barkin, also with Trunk Club since it was founded, who was recently promoted to senior vice president of sales.

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