Coats announces new Non-Executive Director

  • 17 May 2016

Coats, the world’s leading industrial thread manufacturer and a major player in the Americas textile crafts market, announces that Fran Philip is to join the Coats Group plc Board as a Non-Executive Director, effective 1 October 2016.  Fran has over 30 years of apparel merchandising, product innovation and branding experience having spent the majority of her career at LL Bean, the US retailer.

Fran is currently a Non-Executive Director of a number of US companies including Vera Bradley, the accessories brand; Totes Isotoner, the accessories manufacturer; Pacific Sunwear of California, the sportswear and fashion retailer; and Regent Holdings, a home décor designer and importer.

Mike Clasper, Chairman, Coats, said: 'Fran’s extensive experience in the US apparel industry and relationships with major retailers and brands will support the continued growth in our core Apparel and Footwear business.  She has a proven ability of understanding customer requirements, driving innovation and commercialising products; skills which will support the delivery of our goal of becoming the leading value added partner to the apparel, footwear and accessories industries, as well as supporting new product development in our Speciality business.’

Fran started her career as a Market Research Analyst at Star Market, the US grocery chain.  She joined LL Bean in 1994 as Director of Product Development, Home Furnishings and went on to hold a number of roles including Vice President, Affiliated Brands, before becoming Chief Merchandising Officer in 2002 until she retired in 2011.

Fran also co-owns Sea Bags, a small business in Maine, US, which makes bags and other small accessories from recycled sails.  Much of her focus is mentoring its product designers.

Fran has a degree in English and Sociology from Bowdoin College, Maine, and has an MBA from Harvard University.


For more information and to request a photo of Anne Fahy contact:

Kristina Blissett, Head of Communications
T +44 (0)208 210 5084, M +44 (0)7714 539887

Notes to Editors

About Coats

Coats is the world’s leading industrial thread manufacturer and a major player in the Americas textile crafts market. At home in some 60 countries, Coats employs 19,000 people across six continents. Revenues in 2016 were US$1.5bn.

Coats’ pioneering history and innovative culture ensure the company leads the way around the world: providing complementary and value added products and services to the apparel and footwear industries; applying innovative techniques to develop high technology Performance Materials threads and yarns in areas such as automotive, composites and fibre optics; and extending the crafts offer into new markets and online.

Headquartered in the UK, Coats is a FTSE 250 listed company on the London Stock Exchange.

  • Each year we make enough thread to go into 8 billion pairs of jeans - that’s one for every person on the planet
  • Every month Coats produces enough thread to stretch all the way to the sun
  • More than 450 million pairs of shoes are made every year using Coats’ thread
  • More than 100 million car airbags are made using Coats’ Performance Materials thread every year
  • In 1879 Thomas Edison used Coats’ thread in his experiments to invent the light bulb
  • Our Red Heart knitting and crochet yarn brand has been named ‘America’s Most Recommended’ by the Women’s Choice Award for three years running
  • Our flame retardant Performance Materials threads can withstand temperatures as high as 1,000 degrees Celsius
  • Coats is the second largest supplier of zips to global brands