SPANNER announces strategic corporate and marketing initiatives to achieve planned growth during downturn

    First freestanding store in North America highlights the exciting
    evolution of a leading Canadian fashion brand.

    TORONTO, May 5 /CNW/ - SPANNER LTD., which designs and distributes
contemporary lifestyle womenswear brand, SPANNER, is confronting current
economic conditions and the challenging retail climate head on, as it sets the
stage for a new phase in the company's growth. The evolution strategy, which
will see the brand successfully transition into the next decade includes, a
change in company ownership and executive, a new brand logo and icon, and a
change in distribution, with a bold step onto the retail scene. These
components will serve to enhance and strengthen SPANNER's presence within the
fashion industry in the North American marketplace.

    Second generation takes the helm.

    Effective 2009, former Vice President, Geoffrey Lago, took over SPANNER
LTD. as President and CEO. At the same time, he acquired complete ownership of
the company from his father and company founder, Peter Lago, who continues in
the role of Chairman of the Board. Design Director, Susan Lee, the creative
force behind the SPANNER brand, continues to guide all aspects of design and
production. "We are taking a proactive approach with our business strategies,
in light of the challenging times, and are certain the steps that have been
set in motion will positively position the SPANNER brand to compete with well
known, trend-setting fashion brands," explains Geoffrey Lago.
    At a time when consumer values are shifting and shoppers are seeking
brands that not only meet, but exceed their expectations for quality, style
and value, proven brands such as SPANNER are set to shine. With a
trend-focused yet practical approach to fashion and a history of creating
value-enhanced style, the brand is well-equipped to succeed in a transitioning
retail climate.

    Modern new look enhances marketing strategy.

    SPANNER introduces a distinctive, sophisticated new logo and icon, which
set the tone for the brand's competitive charge in the fast-changing retail
and fashion landscape. Designed by one of Canada's leading typographers, the
logo is paired with a clean, modern icon and together give the brand a fresh,
innovative perspective. "These exciting visual elements, coupled with a sound
marketing plan, will enhance brand awareness and help SPANNER speak to and
attract a younger, style-savvy customer, while continuing to be relevant to
our current, core customer," Lago says. A redesigned and upgraded website is
also in the works.

    Launch of flagship-showcase store plays key role in strengthening
    customer relationships.

    This month, SPANNER opens its first freestanding, flagship-showcase store
in Shops at Don Mills, Toronto, Ontario's first outdoor lifestyle centre. "In
order to fully support the growth of the brand, we are embarking in a new
direction in distribution that will integrate with, and fully complement, our
current wholesale business and Kitchener destination store," Mr. Lago
explains. Modelled on the success of the brand's Kitchener store, which opened
within the head office complex in 2003, the 3,600 square foot Toronto location
is a contemporary, custom-designed environment. It will showcase the complete
range of each seasonal collection, highlighting the brand's ageless appeal. It
is also a strategic marketing tool and 'design laboratory', that will create a
direct customer relationship and enable SPANNER to better respond to consumer
demand. "The presence of a branded flagship store at a premiere retail
location will elevate brand awareness," Lago states. "We feel this is a model
for success, whereby the retail and wholesale businesses will operate in
synergy, strengthening and complementing each other and giving SPANNER the
ability to attract a whole new customer base at both levels."

    SPANNER is a contemporary lifestyle, fashion collections brand, designed
and distributed by SPANNER LTD. Established in 1973, the privately-owned
Canadian company is based in Kitchener, Ontario, with 14 sales agencies across
North America and a design studio in Toronto. Unique in its diversity, the
brand seasonally markets mini-collections, each offering multiple wardrobe
options that allow women to create their own signature style, from polished
professional to confidently creative. SPANNER is available at over 1000 fine
specialty retailers across North America, in sizes XS-XL & 2-18; Petites 2-14
& Woman's 14-24. The company's retail component includes its destination store
located at head office in Kitchener and its first, freestanding
flagship-showcase store, which opened May 1, 2009, in Shops at Don Mills,

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: additional photos or to arrange an interview
with Geoffrey Lago, contact: Judi Barr, Barr PRcommunications, (416) 767-7406,

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