The Cato Corporation a retailer of women’s fashions and accessories, operates under three product concepts each covering a different customer base, with over 1000 stores in 30 states they were looking to build an assortment that resonates with their customers and get $250M in sales. We were hired in an interim short-term contract role to manage private label product design, development, branding, and merchandising under the Versona Brand for 66 locations.

We Trained the Merchandise, Buying, and Design teams to build awareness of the product and product development processes additionally, we built merchandising strategies that were implemented across all stores.


  • Created a brand identity for the Versona stores
  • Built assortment that resonates with their customer
  • $250M in sales
  • Increased product margin from 50% – 65%
  • Built PL brand led by design teams

Key focuses :

  • Based on a forecasted $278M in Versona Brand sales, we improved average product margins from 50% to 70%, resulting in $5M in additional profit.
  • We navigated from concept and delivery to achieving a forecast of $1.6M in budget savings annually.
  • We built the Design department for the Versona PL brand
  • Developed cost and budget strategies to lower expenses by 4%.

More about the project.

We started with discovery where we analyzed the sales for the past 3 years to identify what customers were buying and gravitating towards. After the discovery, we were able to identify the product assortment that would convert the target audience. We prepared a road map of three phases- Define / Measure / Analyze, Improve / DesignImplement and Control, with key deliverables and timelines for each phase.

We analyzed sales down to trends and sizes so we could develop the best assortment. We did a competitive analysis, customer analysis and developed templates to fit the look and feel. We improved the product label assortment and developed the core essential product for the brand. We built a design department and private-label brand that was the core product. We implemented the unified look and feel for the new product and verified that the product was converting by conducting a pilot in one of the stores.

We achieved double-digit sales increases in one quarter by redefining brand identity and the target market. We aligned the brand to the customer persona and aligned buying teams with the trends.