Women’s Apparel Company South Moon Under Moves Headquarters to Anne Arundel County
Annapolis, MD (June 8, 2016) – Today Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh announced that South Moon Under will be opening its new headquarters at Annapolis Commons at the beginning of August. The move to the new 20,000 square foot space will help the company access a wider pool of professional talent as it embarks on a national expansion plan which will include the hiring of more employees.
“This decision by South Moon Under shows that our pro-business reforms are working,” said Mr. Schuh. “Anne Arundel County is becoming the best place to live, work, and start a business in Maryland.”
Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation (AAEDC) assisted the company with its site search. AAEDC continues to provide guidance on financing and workforce training options.
“Our new location in Annapolis provides easy access to Baltimore, Washington, DC and other metro areas on the east coast,” said Michael Smith, CEO of South Moon Under. “But equally important, Anne Arundel County fits with our corporate brand from the water lifestyle and leisure activities to the charm of historic Annapolis.”
From its current headquarters in Berlin, South Moon Under’s staff of 75 employees operate and manage a chain of stores from Richmond, Virginia to Westport, Connecticut. Under the new leadership team, the company has a five to seven year plan to grow the brand’s national footprint both through opening brick and mortar stores and growing its online sales. The expansion will also include establishing a private label program and developing an in-house design team and hiring staff to assist with store support, marketing, finance and creative development.
South Moon Under began in 1968 when Frank Gunion opened the surf shop in Ocean City. Over the next 48 years, the business evolved to an upscale lifestyle apparel retailer. The company has 24 locations, many in popular suburbs such as Towson and Bethesda, and generates $50 million in revenue annually. In April 2016, JPB Capital bought a majority share in the company.
Although Mr. Smith was part of the private equity team that purchased the majority share, he served as a consultant to South Moon Under for the past six years. Mr. Smith has a long and distinguished history in managing and leading retail brands. He worked for many years alongside his wife Patricia Darrow Smith, who co-founded White House/Black Market (WHBM) in 1985. Ms. Smith will be taking on the position as Chief Creative Officer. Also joining the executive management group is Rod Olson, another former WHBM executive, as Chief Operating Officer. While several key South Moon Under executives will continue to drive the business, there will also be new talent joining the company. “We are excited about growing our team with professionals who have experience in managing national brands,” said Mr. Smith. “That will be a strong combination in bringing about the future success of South Moon Under.”
About the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation
The mission of the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation is to support small business and serve as a catalyst for business growth in Anne Arundel County thereby increasing job opportunities, expanding the tax base and improving quality of life. News updates are available on the AAEDC’s website: www.aaedc.org and on social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
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