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Faces at the Financo Forum

Mickey Drexler, Mindy Grossman and more discussed hot topics.

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If it weren’t for the pressing matter of cocktail hour, industry executives at Financo’s 22nd Annual Retail & Consumer Industry Seminar and CEO Event could have gone on debating the art of retailing all night. J. Crew Group Chairman and CEO Millard “Mickey” Drexler all but stole the show with his gripes about badly managed tenant mixes at malls, while Bloomingdale’s CEO Michael Gould tried to keep the peace by saying mall operators are “great partners [without whom] we can’t do business.” Kevin Plank, founder and CEO of Under Armour, drew applause from the audience when he outlined how his brand went from zero to $1 billion in 15 years, while Chris Burch, founder and CEO of C. Wonder, offered an unconventional take on the in-store customer experience, drawing laughter when he described the days leading up to the opening of his first store as a “complete disaster.” And Gilt Groupe Chairman Susan Lyne reiterated the importance of e-tailing, saying, “Mobile ... creates the greatest amount of transparency around pricing you could possibly have. [That means] proprietary, unique product is that much more important.”