Personnel Updates:
Belk Inc. is looking to fill a new position of vice president of digital marketing and plans to hire about 100 people for its e-commerce and I.T. departments.
Bloomingdale’s named Josh Peskowitz as a new Men’s Fashion Director.
The Bon-Ton Stores said vice chairman/president of merchandising Tony Buccina will retire from the company effective Feb. 15, 2013. Additionally, Bon-Ton announced the appointment of Luis Fernandez to the newly created position of Exec VP and Chief Marketing Officer.
Christopher & Banks Corp. announced that Peter Michielutti joined the company as Senior VP, CFO. He replaces Michael Lyftogt, who will return to his prior position as Chief Accounting Officer.
Esprit announced it has hired Thomas Tang as its new CFO.
Gap Inc. announced that it has appointed former H&Mglobal sales head Stefan Larsson as the new president of Old Navy, effective the end of October.
J. Crew Group Inc. named Stuart Haselden CFO. Kristin Hays has been promoted to Senior VP Communications. Laura Sandall has been appointed VP Events Marketing and Publicity.
JCPenney has made a number of key appointments. Benjamin Fay has joined the company as Exec VP Real Estate, Store Design and Development. John Singleton has been appointed Exec VP, Chief Supply Chain Officer. Michelynn Woodard joins JCPenney as VP Philanthropy. Ken Hannah has been named CFO. Michael Hanson was named VP Government Relations.
Limited Brands announced that Charlie McGuigan has been named COO. Martyn Redgrave, Limited Brands CAO, will transition to the role of senior advisor for the company later this summer.
Modell’s Sporting Goods announced that Daniel Sheehan joined the company as COO.
Neiman Marcus announced that Joshua Schulman has been appointed President of Bergdorf Goodman.
Sears Holdings Corp. said that current Chief Accounting Officer, Robert Riecker has been named Interim CFO.
Stage Stores Inc. named Steven Lawrence as its Chief Merchandising Officer, and made permanent the appointment of Michael Glazer as its President and CEO.
Talbots’ President and CEO Trudy Sullivan plans to retire as soon as a successor is named.
The Children’s Place Retail Stores named Steven Baginski as CFO.
Quiksilver appointed Richard Shields as CFO.
Financial Focus:
Betsey Johnson LLC has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Almost all of the designer’s boutiques are expected to close, with estimated 350 staff members losing their jobs.
Mergers and Acquisitions:
Ascena Retail Group will acquire Charming Shoppes Inc. Upon completion of the deal, Charming Shoppes will become a subsidiary of Ascena.
Wolverine Worldwide Inc. announced it has partnered with equity firms Blum Capital Partners and Golden Gate Capital to acquire Payless ShoeSourceparent Collective Brands Inc. Wolverine will buy Collective’s unit that owns brands Keds, Saucony and Stride Rite. The investment firms will jointly acquire the Payless ShoeSource chain and Collective Licensing International unit, which will operate as a single company.
Industry Insight:
Avenue Stores LLC, which was acquired out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month, will reduce its footprint to “slightly above 300″ stores from its current 420 locations.
Gap Inc.’s online shop, Piperlime, will make its retail store debut this fall, at 121 Wooster St. in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City.
Hudson Bay Co. will continue to expand the Topshop Topman brand in its The Bay department stores. The company plans to open two Topman in-store shops in Vancouverand Toronto in October 2012. The 33,000 sq. ft. space in the Vancouver store will mark the largest-ever international Topman shop.
JCPenney Co. is ending the practice of paying commissions to employees in certain departments.
Sears will launch an exclusive line of Outdoor Life branded sportswear for men. The line will be available in more than 800 Sears stores nationwide and on, beginning September.
Sears Canada is slashing the number of private apparel brands to 20 from more than 90 offered currently.
Sears Holdings has expanded the availability of its in-store professional apparel shop to 91 Sears and Kmart stores nationwide. The store, called “Scrubology”, offers work apparel and uniforms for professionals in industrial, service and healthcare fields. The concept is a partnership with Work ‘N Gear.
Sears Holdings Corp. announced it will now combine its Sears’s Outlet and Sears’s Hometown and Hardware stores into one separate company. The move will result in the newly named Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores Inc. and a public offering that is expected to raise $400 to $500 million for Sears. The new company will consist of about 1,240 smaller-format stores, including 944 Hometown locations and 96 Sears Hardware stores.
Target plans to debut its first standalone C9 Active Apparelbranded specialty store in San Francisco this October. The store will feature Champion activewear manufactured by Hanesbrands for sale by Target.
Von Maur Inc. will expand its women’s specialty store concept, Dry Goods, with the opening of a 4,500 sq. ft. location this fall in Orland Park, IL. The store will be the seventh Dry Goods store overall. The specialty chain also announced plans to open its first Minnesota location in Roseville, MNthis month.
Real Estate:
Ann Inc. will open a 5,394 sq. ft. Loft store in Fort Worth, TXin the fall.
Burlington Coat Factory will open a new flagship store in Manhattan’s Union Square this fall. The 92,000 sq. ft. location is part of a broader plan to open more than 20 new stores in 2012.
Cabela’s Inc. plans to open a store in Green Bay, WIin summer 2013. The approximately 100,000 sq. ft. store will be located in the Titletown Development area being developed in conjunction with the Green Bay Packers.
Converse Inc., a subsidiary of NIKE Inc., has opened its first mall-based location. The 4,500-sq.-ft. store is in WestfieldGarden StatePlaza in Paramus, NJ.
Dick’s Sporting Goods opened a new store in Union, NJ. The store is the company’s 487th nationwide.
DSW Inc. opened new stores in Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.
The Gymboree Corp. plans to open 105 new stores during fiscal 2012. Eighty of the new locations will operate under the company’s Crazy 8 banner.
H&M is opening a new store at Tippecanoe Mall in Lafayette, IN. the company also announced it plans to open its first Latin American location in fall 2012 in Mexico City.
Intermix plans to open approximately five stores this year, and five to 10 stores in 2013. This year, the retailer plans to focus on opening U.S. locations in cities such as Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago and New York. In 2013, Intermix plans to continue to expand internationally, eyeing a second Canadian location.
Macy’s Inc. will open a Macy’s store in Sarasota, FLin fall 2014. The two-level, 160,000 sq. ft. store will be located in the new Mall at University Town Center, on which construction will begin later this year.
Michael Kors Inc. opened its first store in Beijing. The 2,400-sq.-ft. store, located in the Shin Kong Placeshopping mall, is the retailer’s largest-ever store in China.
Saks Incorporated’s Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH reopened its Anaheim, CAstore. Adjacent to Disneyland, the 26,632 square foot store is located in The Outlets at Orange.
Tommy Hilfiger, a subsidiary of PVH Corp., will open an 11,000 sq. ft. flagship in Tokyo, Japan.
Technology News:
Gucci launched its own mobile point-of-sale program at select directly operated U.S., Europe and Asia locations.
Macy’s plans to have by year-end 300 stores capable of handling fulfillment of online orders.
Macy’s has teamed with True Fit, a fit personalization software program, to offer shoppers who create a free True Fit profile at Macy’s an entire catalogue of jeans personalized just for them. The retailer has offered the fit program for women since last fall.
Maurices has debuted a new mobile application designed to enhance its customers’ in-store shopping experience.