BROOMFIELD, Colo. - April 7, 2014 // PRNewswire // - Famous Brands International ("Famous Brands"), the parent company of TCBY Yogurt and Mrs. Fields Cookies ("Mrs. Fields"), today announced that it has appointed Kimberly Aylward to the newly created position of General Manager of Direct-to-Consumer Gifting at Mrs. Fields, where she will oversee e-commerce sales and brand marketing efforts. Ms. Aylward has been serving as a Vice President of E-Commerce for Ascena Retail Group, Inc. since 2012, a leading national specialty retailer for women and tweens.
"We are thrilled to welcome Kimberly to the team at Mrs. Fields," said Neal Courtney, Chief Executive Officer of Famous Brands. "Kimberly is a proven leader in e-commerce and marketing and has years of experience in brand advancement, cross-channel synergy, web merchandizing and strategic planning. Over the past several years, e-commerce sales have been an area of solid growth at Mrs. Fields and with the addition of Kimberly, we are confident that we can take Mrs. Fields to a whole new level by enhancing our brand presence online while maintaining a customer focused culture."
"I am excited to be joining the Mrs. Fields team," said Ms. Aylward. "Mrs. Fields has committed itself to expanding its e-commerce business and I look forward to playing a key leadership role in championing these strategic initiatives. I am eager to build upon Mrs. Fields' established brand name and further the Company's strong momentum over the past several years."
"We are pleased to add Kimberly to the team at Mrs. Fields," said James J. Zenni, Chairman of Famous Brands. "Throughout her impressive career, Kimberly has established herself as an innovator and visionary with the ability to effectively reach customers online and oversee the development of new business initiatives. Mrs. Fields plans to roll out several exciting new campaigns for 2014, including the creation of a new website and expansion of online product offerings. With Kimberly's solid track record and leadership skills, Mrs. Fields is poised to expand its online branding and continue its strong growth."
Famous Brands is a portfolio company of Z Capital Partners, L.L.C., a leading private equity firm with approximately $1.5 billion of regulatory assets and committed capital under management.
Ms. Aylward previously served as Vice President of E-Commerce for Ascena Retail Group, Inc. since 2012. During her time at Ascena Retail Group, Ms. Aylward oversaw Catherines Brand's digital marketing, merchandising, creative, operations, web analytics and inventory planning. From 2009 until 2012, Ms. Aylward served as Director of E-Commerce at Charming Shoppes, Inc., where she was instrumental in developing the universal web platform for Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug and Catherines. She transformed Catherines.com's online presence and drove consistently high earnings and sales. From 1997 to 2008, Ms. Aylward held numerous positions of increasing responsibility at Garnet Hill, Inc., including Public Relations Manager, Director of HSN Business Development and Director of Web Merchandising and IAC Cross-Brand Business Development. During her time at Garnet Hill, Ms. Aylward played a critical role in expanding the catalog and web businesses as well as building the Garnet Hill brand in North America and Japan. Prior to Garnet Hill, Ms. Aylward spent nearly a decade in Japan working as a journalist covering economics and technology. Ms. Aylward has also been a TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) Fellow.
Founded by Debbi Fields in 1977, Mrs. Fields created a new category of treats. After opening her first store in Palo Alto, California, the Mrs. Fields name quickly became associated with warm, freshly baked cookies right out of the oven. Mrs. Fields currently has over 400 franchise locations worldwide, is a part of Famous Brands International and is sister company to TCBY™. To learn more, visit www.mrsfields.com, https://www.facebook.com/mrsfieldscookies or follow us @MrsFields.
Founded in 1981, TCBY™ was the first, and remains the largest, frozen yogurt brand. TCBY™ has been on the forefront of innovation including being the first brand to market Greek Frozen Yogurt, Silk® Frozen Yogurt, a plant-based, dairy-free frozen yogurt and "Super Fro-Yo." TCBY™, which currently has over 500 franchise locations worldwide, is part of Famous Brands International and a sister company to Mrs. Fields™. To learn more, visit www.tcby.com, www.facebook.com/tcby or follow us @TCBY.
Z Capital Partners, L.L.C. ("Z Capital") is a leading private equity firm with approximately $1.5 billion of regulatory assets and committed capital under management and with offices in Lake Forest, IL and New York, NY. Z Capital pursues an opportunistic, value-oriented approach in private equity that includes making control investments in middle-market companies that may require turnaround, restructuring, bankruptcy or are otherwise special situations.
Z Capital's investors include prominent global sovereign wealth funds, endowments, pension funds, insurance companies, foundations, family offices, wealth management firms and other financial institutions in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. For more information, please visit www.zcap.net.
Jonathan Keehner | Gabrielle Miller
Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher
SOURCE Famous Brands International