Ann Taylor was founded in 1954, and its classic black dress and woman's power suit were staples for years. In 1995 Ann Taylor LOFT was launched to appeal to a more casual, costconscious consumer. Under Kay Krill's leadership, the division began to outperform the original flagship. When Krill was promoted to President/CEO of Ann Taylor Stores Corporation in 2005, she was challenged with rebuilding the Ann Taylor brand - (i.e., meeting the “wardrobing needs of the updated classic consumer”) while maintaining the image and market share of LOFT. By mid-2008, an additional problem appeared: the macroeconomic climate was posing considerable uncertainty, especially for retail businesses. Krill was firmly committed to long-term growth. However, given the 2008 situation, what could she do to unleash what she believed was the firm's “significant untapped potential”?
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