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Brentwood Associates-backed J.McLaughlin hires Coyne as CEO

J.McLaughlin, which is backed by Brentwood Associates, has appointed Mary Ellen Coyne as CEO. Previously, Coyne worked at Ralph Lauren where she most recently served as chief merchandising officer of the POLO women’s and children’s divisions. New York-based J.McLaughlin is a sportswear brand.


NEW YORK, July 26, 2016 —Mary Ellen Coyne has been named CEO of J.McLaughlin. In her role as CEO Mary Ellen will be responsible for leading the overall direction of J.McLaughlin and will oversee all aspects of strategy and operations including, merchandising, product development, marketing, brand development as well as continued retail and ecommerce growth. Kevin McLaughlin, Chief Creative Officer and co-founder of the brand will continue to over see all product design reporting to Mary Ellen.

Mary Ellen joins J.McLaughlin after spending nineteen years at Ralph Lauren, having most recently served as the Chief Merchandising Officer of the POLO Women’s and Children’s divisions. Prior to her role at Ralph Lauren she held merchandising positions at Victoria’s Secret, The Gap and Ann Taylor and began her career in the Macy’s Training Program.

Commenting on her new role Mary Ellen said, “The spirit with which this brand was founded is incredibly relevant today. I see significant opportunities to build on the core product assortment and add new categories. I am thrilled to be joining the J.McLaughlin team and plan to leverage the strength of the brand to accelerate the company’s growth across all channels of distribution, by both increasing the current retail footprint and investing in the company’s direct marketing efforts. ”

Founded in 1977 and headquartered in Brooklyn, NY, J.McLaughlin is a lifestyle brand rooted in the American traditions of sport, work and play. The brand designs proprietary apparel and accessories for women and men with an emphasis on impeccable craftsmanship and timeless style, with standout colors and a signature portfolio of prints. Currently, the company operates 109 retail locations along the Eastern seaboard, Florida, Midwest, Texas and California and has a rapidly growing e-commerce business through The brand is known for its exemplary customer service and distinctive store environments. In November 2015, Brentwood Associates, a leading consumer-focused private equity investment firm, acquired a majority stake in J.McLaughlin.

Roger Goddu, a partner at Brentwood & Associates said of the appointment, “Mary Ellen is a proven merchant and also has extensive experience across various operating functions which makes her an ideal leader for the brand. She has a strong and successful track record as a fashion merchandising executive and her expertise will play a critical role developing and executing key merchandising strategies.”

Kevin McLaughlin, Chief Creative Officer and co-founder of the brand said, “Mary Ellen is a natural fit. In many ways she personifies the J.McLaughlin brand and embodies our core customer and values. This coupled with her considerable knowledge of the retail industry made her our first choice to lead J.McLaughlin into the next chapter of growth.”

J.McLaughlin was founded by two brothers, Kevin and Jay McLaughlin, in 1977. Their goal was to create a new American sportswear brand based in New York and built on several basic concepts: classic clothes with current relevance, sold in a friendly retail environment that has a neighborhood feel. With over 100 retail locations, J.McLaughlin occupies some of the most picturesque main-street real estate in America. True to the vision of the McLaughlin brothers, the stores have a warmly residential feel and exemplary customer service. “Being a good neighbor” is central to the brand’s approach to business, and J.McLaughlin values being a welcome and active member of each community in which it operates. The company also operates a fully responsive digital flagship at The company is headquartered in Brooklyn, New York.

About Brentwood Associates
Brentwood Associates is a leading consumer-focused private equity investment firm with over $1.4 billion of capital under management and a 30-year history of investing in leading middle-market growth companies. Brentwood focuses on investments in growing businesses where it is able to leverage its extensive experience in areas such as: specialty retail; branded consumer products; consumer services; direct marketing, including direct mail and e-commerce; education; health and wellness; and restaurants. Since 1984, Brentwood’s dedicated private equity team has invested in 50 portfolio companies with an aggregate transaction value of over $6 billion. With significant experience in both investing and brand building, Brentwood is a value-added partner with entrepreneurs and senior management teams building world-class companies. For more information about Brentwood, please visit