Personnel Updates:
American Apparel Inc. announced Tom Casey, its President, has resigned.
American Eagle Outfitters Inc. has named Levi Strauss & Co. executive Robert Hanson the company’s next CEO, succeeding retiring Jim O’Donnell.
Ascena Retail Group appointed John Sullivan as Exec VP and COO. In this newly created position, Sullivan will be responsible for information technology, distribution, and human resources information systems across all brands. Ascena Retail Group said Thursday it has appointed Jeff Gerstel as president of Dressbarn, and named George Goldfarb as president of its Maurices brand, both effective immediately. The new executives will report to David Jaffe, president and CEO of Ascena Retail Group. Gerstel joined Dressbarn in 2006 as senior VP operations and most recently served as executive VP and COO. Goldfarb joined Maurices in 1985, was named CFO in 2003, and most recently was its executive VP and COO.
Blue Nile announced that CEO Diane Irvine has resigned from the company. Vijay Talwar, Senior VP and General Manager of International, has been appointed Interim CEO.
The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. announced that Bud Bergren has stated his intention to retire as President and CEO. Mr. Bergren will remain in his current position until the search for and hiring of a new CEO is completed and an orderly transition has taken place. When a new chief executive officer is hired, Mr. Bergren, who is a current member of the Board of Directors, will transition to the position of Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Company. Upon Mr. Bergren’s transition to Chairman of the Board, Tim Grumbacher will step down as Executive Chairman and remain a member of the Board.
The Children’s Place Retail Stores has announced the appointment of Lori Tauber Marcus as Senior VP Chief Marketing Officer.
City Sports announced the appointment of Debi Binder to VP marketing and Dana Klein to director of e-commerce.
Esprit Holdings Ltd. announced its CFO, Chew Fook Aun, will resign for personal reasons effective June 1, 2012.
Express Inc. said that its CEO will also take over the role of board chairman.
Finish Line Inc. announced its Chief Administrative Officer and Corporate Secretary Gary Cohen plans to retire on March 29, 2012. The company also named Chris Ladd as Exec VP, Chief Digital Officer.
Hot Topic Inc. said that its CEO, Lisa Harper, has also been named its Board Chairwoman.
JCPenney announced executive changes. Michael W. Kramer was named CEO and will be responsible for Finance, Investor Relations, Corporate Strategy, and Information Technology. Daniel Walker has been named Chief Talent Officer and will be in charge of all HR functions. Thomas Nealon, the executive in charge of JCP.com, has left the company.
The Jones Group Inc. tapped Jeffrey Thorpe as VP and Creative Director for Jones New York, a newly created role at the brand.
Perry Ellis International, Inc. appointed Carmine Petruzello as President of its Perry Ellis division.
Talbots Inc. announced that President and CEO Trudy Sullivan plans to retire as soon as a successor is named.
Urban Outfitters announced several executive changes. The company named David W. McCreight to the new position of CEO, Anthropologie Group. Wendy Wurtzburger, who had been Anthropologie’s Co-President, will continue to serve as Chief Merchandising and Design Officer. Wendy McDevitt, who had been the other Co-President, was named President of Terrain. Charles Kessler is returning to the company and will be Chief Merchandising Officer of the Urban Outfitters brand. Kristin Norris, most recently Managing Director of Urban Outfitter’s BHLDN line, has been named Chief Creative Officer. Denise Albright, most recently executive director of planning and allocation, has been named COO Anthropologie.
Financial Focus:
Charming Shoppes is conducting a strategic review of its operations, which includes the divestiture of its Fashion Bug business and the expansion of its Lane Bryant brand.
Mergers and Acquisitions:
Swimco Aquatic Supplies Ltd. has purchased Swimwear Etc, increasing their store count from 14 to 25, and expanding their reach into all four western provinces. All Swimwear Etc locations have been rebranded under the Swimco banner.
Industry Insight:
Gap Inc. announced the opening of its first Banana Republic store in France. The 15,952 sq. ft. store will be on Avenue des Champs Élysées, in Paris.
Bloomingdale’s is back in expansion mode and focusing on smaller full-price stores and outlets. A full-line, two-level 120,000 sq. ft. store in the Glendale Galleria in Glendale, CA, is set to open in fall 2013, and other sites around the state and country are being eyed, possibly the Pacific Northwest and Texas, where there are currently no Bloomingdale’s. Bloomingdale’s is planning to open four or five more outlet units in 2012. The company also is planning additional international stores.
Brown Shoe Company, Inc. plans to close its Sun Prairie, WI distribution center in 2012.
Crocs debuted its new concept store, with locations in Mall of America, Bloomington, MN, Barton Creek, Austin, TX, and Streets at Southpoint, Durham, NC.
Daffy’s Inc. opened its 19th store location in New York‘s Times Square neighborhood.
Forever 21 signed an agreement Tuesday to open a flagship in Beijing, China.
The 24,000 sq .ft. store will open a in a multi-story mall located in Beijing’s central shopping district, Wangfujing, with additional stores set to open in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Gap Inc. has opened its first-ever Hong Kong flagship store. The new store spans more than 15,000 sq. ft. over four floors and is located on Queens Roadin Hong Kong’s Central District.
Kenneth Cole is preparing to launch in the major cities in India with plans to open five stores over the next three years and an additional 20 in the following five years.
New Era Cap. Co. Inc. announced plans to open its 11th global flagship store in Los Angeles. The brand’s first-ever West Coast location, the new 3,300-sq.-ft.store will be situated in the West Hollywood shopping district.
Olympia Sports has opened its 200th store, in Dunkirk, MD, at Dunkirk Gateway Shopping Center.
Zara recently opened a new store in South Africa.
Real Estate:
Brown Shoe Co. Inc. recently announced plans to shutter between 70 and 75 Famous Footwear stores in fiscal 2011 and 2012, for a total of approximately 145 stores. The company will also be closing all of its Brown Shoe Closet and F.X. LaSalle stores. These changes are in addition to the sale of AND 1 and the closing of our Sun Prairie, WI distribution center.
Casual Male Retail Group Inc. has opened a new DestinationXL store in Carle Place, NY. The company plans to open up one more DXL store in 2011, another 20-30 stores during 2012 and approximately 100 stores over a four- to five-year period.
Christopher & Banks Corp. plans to close about 100 stores, mostly by the end of January 2012.
City Sports has opened its 21st store, in downtown Silver Spring, MD.
Dick’s Sporting Goods took another step in expanding out West with the announcement that it will build a distribution center in Goodyear, AZin early 2013.
Hudson’s Bay Company says 26 of its Fields stores across Ontario will be closing early next year.
Nordstrom Inc. announced that it will open a new 39,000 sq. ft. Nordstrom Rack at Carmel MountainPlaza shopping center in San Diego, CAduring fall 2012. Nordstrom is closing its doors in Orem, UT on 2/24/12.
REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) has opened it’s first-ever store in Manhattan, NY. The store is 35,000 sq. ft. Looking ahead to 2012, the company’s new locations will include Woodbridge, VA, Oxnard, CA, Medford, OR and Indianapolis, IN.
Sterling Shoes Inc. announced the proposed future closure of 53 store locations in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario. The company is continuing with 5 Freedman stores, 28 Sterling stores and 72 Shoe Warehouse stores. These remaining stores will continue to operate on a normal basis. Upon completion of the store-closing process, the company’s total store portfolio will consist of 105 stores.
Styles for Less opened a new store in Round Rock, TX.