Vestis Retail Names Petty CEO

Vestis Retail Group, which is backed by Versa Capital Management, said Tuesday it appointed James Petty to the position of CEO, effective July 8th. Mark Walsh, a Versa Managing Director who has served as Vestis’ CEO, will remain as chairman. Versa Capital formed Vestis, which encompasses Bob’s Stores and Eastern Mountain Sports.


PHILADELPHIA, July 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Vestis Retail Group, LLC (Vestis), is pleased to announce the appointment of James Petty to the position of Chief Executive Officer, effective July 8th.  Vestis, owned by affiliates of private equity firm Versa Capital Management, LLC (Versa), encompasses Bob’s Stores (Bob’s), a retailer of value-oriented footwear, apparel and work wear, and Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS), the iconic outdoor retailer.
Mark Walsh, a Versa Managing Director who has served as Chief Executive Officer of Vestis, will remain its Chairman, overseeing the Vestis investment for Versa.
According to Mr. Walsh, “We’re pleased to welcome Jim Petty to Vestis, and believe he is the right leader for the company at this point in time.”
Mr. Petty is a seasoned retail executive, most recently serving as President of Retail Stores for Carter’s Inc., with oversight of key national brands (OshKosh, Carter’s) that are sold in 485 stores and generate over $800 million in annual sales.  Prior to Carter’s, Jim held senior roles at Limited Too and Gap, Inc.
According to Gregory L. Segall, Chief Executive Officer of Versa, “I am pleased we have attracted a person of Jim’s talent and experience to help guide Bob’s and EMS to the next level of growth and success.”
Mr. Segall added, “This is a long-planned and natural leadership transition at this stage of Vestis’s development.  Over the past five years, Mark has done a tremendous job in realizing the potential at Bob’s and he led the acquisition and initial transformation at EMS, positioning it for growth.  We’re looking forward to Mark’s contributions to our existing and future investments in the Versa portfolio of companies.”
Mr. Walsh concluded, “I am thrilled to hand off the CEO role to someone of Jim’s caliber and I look forward to supporting him on the future strategic direction of the brands.”
Mr. Petty will be based in the Meriden, CT headquarters of Vestis.
About Versa Capital Management
Philadelphia-based Versa Capital Management is a private equity investment firm with $1.2 billion of assets under management that is focused on control investments in special situations involving middle market companies where value and performance growth can be achieved through enhanced operational and financial management.  For more information, visit
About Vestis Retail Group
Vestis Retail Group was formed by Versa Capital Management and encompasses Bob’s Stores and Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS). 
Bob’s, founded in 1954 and based in Meriden, CT, is a value-oriented retailer with locations throughout the Northeastern U.S.  It offers the entire family a wide range of brands at affordable prices in casual fashion, denim, active wear, team wear and footwear.  For more information, visit
EMS began in 1967 when two Massachusetts rock climbers opened a store that would address the needs of quality climbers.  Today, the Peterborough, NH-based retailer operates 68 stores in 12 states. For more information, visit