Thanks to everyone that participated in the call yesterday with Marcello Leone of RYU Apparel (RYU.V). We had folks from all over the world, including the USA, Canada, and several European countries. It is great to see such a high level of interest from investors in the RYU story and progress.
A quick note on how I like to treat investor call recaps. I treat the hour or so that we are able to speak with a CEO or management as pretty sacred time; these folks are trying to run a business and, speaking from experience, taking an hour or more out of the day can become a burdensome thing to do. I never record the calls and the recaps will always be high level and never granular, no matter how much "in the weeds" we get on the call. I do this to encourage openness on the call, and to build trust between myself and the management team.
The most apparent thing from the RYU call yesterday is the passion and confidence that Marcello Leone has in the business and what they are building as a company. He emphasized how building the brand DNA and creating a specific niche in the apparel world was of fundamental paramount to him when talking the helm in 2014. He discussed how important community is in the "building" process as a way to build momentum with the brand. The company expects to have around 9 total stores by the end of 2017, and expects e-commerce sales to represent about 50% of total revenues within the next 4 years.
When pressed on the specifics of how RYU will fund its store growth as well as the specifics behind the continued private placements and share price decline, the response was abrasive but quite brilliant in that Marcello said "look, as the largest shareholder in RYU, I am not here to waste anybody's time." While Marcello has cash flow and profitability targets for the company, his response to specifics was also abrasive, but brilliant..."we are going to get there as fast as we can".
I leave you guys with this: RYU's sales in the first month of opening their flagship store in late 2015 surpassed the total first year of sales for Lululemon when they commenced retail operations in the late 1990s.
For those that participated in the call, feel free to leave any additional feedback and/or comments below.