Duluth-based Maurices' CEO retiring; former Express chief executive his successor

Nicole Norfleet, Brooks Johnson, Star Tribune
·2 min read

George Goldfarb is retiring from his position as chief executive of Duluth-based women's apparel company Maurices, and former Express CEO David Kornberg will take his place next month.

Goldfarb, 61, has worked at Maurices for 36 years and spent a decade as president and CEO. As part of the transition announced Tuesday, Goldfarb will join Maurices' board of directors and move into the role of chairman emeritus.

"It's been such an honor to lead Maurices," Goldfarb said in a statement. "It is an unbelievable brand, with a winning track record, even during a global pandemic. I attribute that success to our seasoned leadership team and talented associates. David's experience will enable continued success for the brand and his authentic style will fit seamlessly into the organization and community."

Kornberg most recently served as the chief executive of mall clothing chain Express and also has experience at Disney and British retailer Marks and Spencer. His appointment is effective March 15.

"David has a deep understanding of the consumer and is recognized as a customer and people-centric leader," Jeff Kirwan, Maurices' executive chairman, said in a statement. "Although George's shoes will be tough to fill, we are very confident that David is the right successor."

Private equity firm OpCapita purchased Maurices in 2019 for $300 million and installed Kirwan, a former president of the Gap brand, as chairman. Dressbarn, later Ascena Retail Group, had owned Maurices for about 14 years.

Maurices was founded in 1931 in Duluth by Maurice Labovitz. His son, Joel Labovitz, who died earlier this month, started running the business in 1955 and expanded it into a nationwide chain.

In 1978, when Labovitz sold the business to the Brenninkmeyer family's American Retail Group.

The retailer remains headquartered in Duluth, and in 2016, the company opened an $80 million office for its corporate employees on Superior Street downtown.

There are 906 Maurices locations in the U.S. and Canada, according to the company's online store directory.

The retailer is located in practically every major shopping center in the Twin Cities area, including the Mall of America, Rosedale and the Shoppes at Arbor Lake.

Nicole Norfleet • 612-673-4495

Brooks Johnson • 218-491-6496