But Cole has also been both an inspiration to many and an inspiring start-up story (we'll get to that at the end), and it was nice to be able to hear CEO Jill Granoff say "what a difference a year makes" in a webcast presentation from the ICR XChange Conference in Dana Point, Calif., yesterday. She went on to report that the company has shown growth for the first time since 2006, in all segments, and has had five consecutive profitable quarters. It still has 100 freestanding stores in the U.S. and 70 more in 50 countries around the world.
Unless you are an investor or competitor, or see poetry in phrases such as "efficiencies in the supply chain" and "maximizing value," I don't suggest that you listen to Granoff's entire presentation. It is enough to know that the company is positioning itself as "the quintessential lifestyle brand for modern men and women who are confident, clever and cool"; that it brings "aspirational city living to the world"; and that it garners 88% in brand awareness and 90% in brand favorability ratings.