Personnel Updates:
Aeropostale, Inc. announced the following personnel changes: Karin Hirtler-Garvey has been appointed Chairman, Julian R. Geiger has decided to step down from his position as Chairman and resign.
American Eagle Outfitters Inc.’s James O’Donnell will step down and be replaced by former Levi’s executive Robert Hanson. In addition, Jay Schottenstein has become Executive Chairman.
 
Ann Inc. promoted Brian Lynch to brand president of the Ann Taylor division, replacing Christine Beauchamp.
Bluefly announced that it has promoted Joseph Park, previously COO, to CEO, effective immediately, replacing Melissa Payner, who resigned as CEO and a member of the company’s board of directors.
The Bon-Ton Stores appointed Brendan L. Hoffman as President and CEO. Hoffman replaces Bud Bergren, who will transition to the role of the Chairman.
Charming Shoppes announced Bryan Q. Eshelman has been promoted to Exec VP, Chief Supply Chain Officer. The company also announced that Donna Isralsky has joined Charming Shoppes as Senior VP Strategic Sourcing.
Citi Trends, Inc. announced that David Alexander, who has served as President and CEO since April 2009, has resigned. Ed Anderson, who served as the Company’s CEO from December 2001 through April 2009, has returned as CEO. The Company also announced that it has hired Jason Mazzola as Exec VP and Chief Merchandising Officer.
Coldwater Creek Inc. has promoted Jim Bell to the newly created position of Exec VP and COO.
Collective Brands Performance + Lifestyle Group announced today the appointment of Rick Blackshaw as President of the Keds brand.
Columbia Sportswear Company announced the appointment of Adrienne Moser as VP of Global Apparel Merchandising and Design, succeeding Sue Parham who has left the company to pursue other interests.
The Finish Line appointed Jay Custard as VP of Digital Marketing.
Gap Inc. has announced that Tom Wyatt, President of its Old Navy brand, has resigned.
Hibbett Sports announced that GaryA. Smith, Senior VP and CFO is retiring effective June 1, 2012.
JCPenney announced that Kristen E. Blum has been named Exec VP and Chief Technology Officer.
Lord & Taylor announced Bonnie Brooks has been named President.
Macy’s has promoted executive vice president Martine Reardon to CMO, one of several senior executive moves kicked off by the retirement of chief stores officer Ron Klein. Current marketing chief Peter Sachse will take over Klein’s post, and Jeff Kantor will become chairman of Macys.com. Macy’s has announced Alberta Ferretti as its latest designer for its Impulse department.
NIKE, Inc. announced Bert Hoyt will become the VP and GM of Western Europe.
Roland Wolfram will replace Hoyt as the new VP & General Managaer of Global Football. Tom Peddie will replace Wolfram as the VP of Global Sales. Ann Hebert will replace Peddie as the VP of North America Sales.
The TJX Companies announced that Scott Goldenberg has been promoted to CFO.
Von Maur Department Store has announced the promotion of Joy Place to VP Merchandising.
Zale Corporation announced that Ken Brumfield has been appointed Senior VP, Financial Products.
Financial Focus:
United Retail Group Inc. announced that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection.
Urban Outfitters reported that comparable-store net sales decreased 1% for the quarter. However, direct-to-consumer comparable-net sales increased 14%. Total sales for the quarter rose 9% to $731 million. For the year ended Jan. 31, total net sales increased to $2.5 billion.
Mergers and Acquisitions:
Hudson’s Bay Co. has completed the acquisition of Lord & Taylor. HBC has dissolved the umbrella company that had until now held the two chains, and HBC will now operate The Bay and Lord & Taylor. The new entity will be run by Bay CEO Bonnie Brooks.
Industry Insight:
American Eagle Outfitters Inc. plans to expand in Japan, with the opening of three stores in Tokyoin 2012. The company also announced the opening of its first-ever store in Israel.
Flip Flop Shops announces it will expand its footprint to 90-plus shops by the end of 2012, with an additional 40-plus already in the pipeline for 2013 openings.
New shop openings in 2012 include high-profile locations in St. Thomas, U.S.Virgin Islands; Honolulu, HI; Miami, FL.; Destin Commons in Destin, FL.; and San Luis Obispo, CA. Through Flip Flop Shops’ controlled, global-expansion strategy, the brand projects 236 locations in its development pipeline by 2013.
Forever 21 Inc. opened it’s first-ever Hong Kong store and it’s first-ever in France. In addition, the company plans to open three more stores in France over the next 14 months.
J. Crew Group Inc. will debut a new concept store centered around its Ludlow men’s suit on Feb. 29. The 2,100-sq.-ft. store will be located in New York‘s TriBeCa neighborhood, and will offer an assortment of suits, Thomas Mason shirts, shoes and neckwear. In addition, the shop will have suit experts and a tailor on hand to work with customers, and will offer monogramming and courier delivery. At this point, the company does not have plans to roll out additional Ludlow shops.
JCPenney Co. Inc. announced plans to do away with the hundreds of sales it offers each year in favor of a simpler approach to pricing.
Kohl’s Corp. is doubling the size of its design office in New York City, as well as adding a design studio in Santa Monica, CA. The company also announced that it has entered into a purchase agreement to build a new e-commerce distribution center in DeSoto, TX expected to open in summer 2012.
Longchamp plans to add up to 25 directly operated boutiques and concessions this year, including 10 store openings in China, as well as additional units in the United States. Longchamp plans to open a third location in Manhattan, at Rockefeller Center, and a boutique at the King of Prussia Mall near Philadelphia. The company also will enter partnerships with Neiman Marcus and Holt Renfrew this year, in addition to its existing partnerships with Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue. Longchamp ended 2011 with 236 directly operated boutiques and in-store shops.
Macy’s has filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against Martha Stewart Living, alleging that a new licensing agreement with rival JCPenney violates its exclusive contract with the brand.
Michael Kors recently opened boutiques in Barbadosand Mexico.
Payless ShoeSource continues its expansion into international markets with new franchise agreements for stores in Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.
The Sports Authority is prepping to debut its first S.A. Elite concept store location on the East Coast. A 10,000 sq. ft. store is slated to open this summer at The Mall in Columbia, MD. In all, the chain now has seven S.A. Elite stores in operation.
Urban Outfitters Inc. named Tedford Marlow as head of the Urban Outfitters Group. Marlow had retired from the chain in 2010, after spending nine years as president of the Urban Outfitters brand.
Von Maur announced it expects to have 29 stores in 13 states by the end of 2013.
In the last decade, the company added 10 Von Maur stores, beefing up its head count of brick-and-mortar stores to 26 in 11 states.
Zumiez Inc. will move its e-commerce fulfillment operations from its headquarters in Everett, WA, to Edwardsville, KS, in May to accommodate their growing online business and to increase the speed of product deliveries to online customers.
Real Estate:
City Sports plans to relocate its store in Suburban Square, Ardmore, PA, into an 8,000 sq. ft. space previously occupied by Talbots.
Esprit Holdings will close all 93 of its stores in North America, after abandoning previously announced plans to sell off the business or find a licensed operator to run the stores.
Flip Flop Shops announced plans to open 40 new stores by the end of 2012. An additional 40 stores are already in the planning stages for 2013. The new stores include locations in St. Thomas; Honolulu, HI; Miami and Destin, FL; and San Luis Obispo, CA.
Golfsmith International Holdings Inc. plans to open 10 new stores and relocate four existing stores in fiscal 2012. The openings and relocations combined will result in a 17.5 percent increase in square footage. The new store locations are planned for Cleveland, OH; Washington, DC; Chattanooga and Nashville, TN; Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Christiana, DE; and San Antonio, TX.
New York & Company announced the store at the Mall at Fairfield Commons in Beavercreek, OH has closed.
United Retail Group Inc, owner of the Avenue stores, filed for bankruptcy court protection and announced plans to sell the company. The company plans to close 14 stores in the next month.