After more than 20 years with the Ecco brand, Dave Quel is set to retire at the end of this month.
Quel, who is president of Ecco USA, got his start with the organization in 1999 as territory manager. He later moved up the ranks, taking on a range of roles including national sales manager and VP of sales, as well as COO. He was named acting president in March 2010 following the departure of then-president and CEO Tom Nelson. Four months later, the job became permanent.
Ecco USA, which is based in Londonderry, N.H., and is a division of the Danish parent company, said that a strategy is in place to ensure a seamless transition for the organization. Starting Aug. 1, Ecco USA CFO Klaus Flock will take over as interim president until a permanent replacement has been named.
Quel’s successor will be taking over a brand on the upswing. In March, the parent company revealed its full-year results, and though profits overall dipped in 2020 due to widespread store closures and other impacts from the pandemic, Ecco saw significant improvements in its direct-to-consumer business.
Net sales from its owned retail and e-commerce grew a combined 2%, supported by the addition of new stores in Europe and the Middle East and growth in online. Like other players in footwear and fashion, the brand saw a significant spike in traffic to its dot-com sites last year, posting 34% growth in digital sales for 2020.
Meanwhile, Ecco also invested a record 195 million euro (or $232 million) to improve its digital platforms and marketing capabilities, and put in place the infrastructure for more product innovation, to position the brand for future growth.
Additionally, the brand, best known for its casual and dress footwear, shifted this past year to focus more on its sneaker and athleisure collections, in response to the changing demands of consumers.