Jeff Gerstel

Jeff Gerstel is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at XRC Labs.  Jeff has led retail / consumer businesses with expertise in merchandise, marketing, ecommerce, stores, finance, operations, HR, and real estate.  

Jeff was President/CEO of Dress Barn, an Ascena Retail Group subsidiary with $1B in annual sales, from 2011 thru 2016. At Dress Barn, Mr. Gerstel and his team implemented a comprehensive transformation recruiting and developing talent, shaping culture, rebranding the company, adopting new marketing approaches, revamping product strategy, building design and direct sourcing, growing digital presence, and developing a new, go-forward store model that improved the customer experience.  Prior to becoming Dress Barn’s President, Mr. Gerstel served as COO and SVP Operations from 2006 thru 2011.

Mr. Gerstel was a key member of Ascena’s leadership team that grew the business from $1.3B in 2006 to $7B in 2016.  He was active in growth strategies, building shared services, and in completing the acquisitions of the Justice, Lane Bryant, Ann Taylor, and Loft brands.

Jeff uniquely has both big and small company experience having led hands-on entrepreneurial businesses as well as large, nationwide operations.  Prior to Dress Barn / Ascena, he was active in the arts & crafts segment as EVP Operations of A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts and before that as President of The Rag Shop.  His started his retail/consumer career with Factory 2-U, a value off-price chain, where he served as COO, CFO, Head of Stores, and VP Finance.

Jeff’s first role was in Mergers & Acquisitions / Corporate Finance at Smith Barney on Wall Street.

He graduated from Swarthmore College with a BA in Economics.


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