Personnel Updates:
American Eagle Outfitters named Mary Boland as Exec VP, CFO and CAO.
Brown Shoe Co. said CFO Mark Hood has resigned from the company. Russ Hammer has been named the successor.
Casual Male Retail Group named Derrick Walker as Senior VP and Chief Marketing Officer.
Claire’s Stores Inc. named James D. Fielding CEO.
Eddie Bauer has named Michael Egeck as its new President and CEO.
Foot Locker Inc. said Richard Johnson has been promoted to COO and Cynthia Thomassee, Controller and VP of Accounting, will serve as Interim CFO.
JCPenney Co Inc. has made a series of promotions and hires: Bob Peterson was appointed to Senior VP of Operational Strategy, Preston Moxcey was hired as Merchandise Manager for Men’s clothing and accessories, Eric Cerny as VP of Investor Relations, and Vaneet Grover JCPenney as Senior VP of Procurement.
Levi Strauss & Co. promoted Joelle Mahler to the new post of Exec VP of the company, and President of Global Retail.
Sears Holdings said that Scott Huckins will join the company as VP and Corporate Treasurer.
Tommy Bahama Group promoted Joel Gardner to Senior VP Retail. Bornie Del Priore has been named VP of Tommy Bahama Footwear, a new division for the company.
Mergers and Acquisitions:
Golf Town will buy Golfsmith International Holdings Inc.
Talbots Inc. announced it will be acquired by Sycamore Partners.
The Jones Group Inc. announced it is acquiring the Brian Atwood footwear brand.
Industry Insight:
American Apparel Inc. has opened two new in-store shop locations in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia. Both of the new stores are located within flagship Myer department stores.
American Eagle Outfitters Inc. plans to close all 22 of its 77kids stores and focus on its strong teen apparel business.
Ann Inc. it will open two Ann Taylor locations in Toronto this fall, its first international locations.
                                      
Avenue LLC will close 96 stores over the next three months. The plus-size retailer previously announced plans to close and consolidate stores. Once the store closures are complete, the company will operate more than 300 stores in 34 states.
Bergdorf Goodman is preparing to throw itself a big birthday bash this fall. The luxury retailer turns 111 years old this year and will celebrate with a series of special events including a documentary film, a book and an anniversary collection of more than 100 exclusive products. The theme of the event will play off the numbers of its age — 111 — and is being touted as “one store, one city, one experience.”
Dick’s Sporting Goods will debut a specialty running store, True Runner, with the first location opening in Pittsburgh, PA. The high-service concept will cater to running enthusiasts with footwear, apparel and accessories, and is slated to open in summer 2012.
H&M has opened a temporary shop on South Beach in Miami, FL. The 3,380 sq. ft. shop will remain open until the retailer opens its Miami Beach flagship store this fall. The permanent store, slated to open in September, will be located in the Lincoln Theatre on Lincoln Road.
JCPenney said it would launch a new private label apparel brand, jcp, for both men and women, set to debut in August. The company will debut several brands in the fall, including a line for young girls, called Dream Pop by Cynthia R. It also will roll out branded collections from designers Betsey Johnson, Vivienne Tam and Lulu Guiness. JCPenney is also looking to expand such brands as Puma and Nike, and rebuild its St. John’s Bay, Worthington and Stafford brands.
Macy’s Inc. hired more than 1,000 students from America’s colleges and universities this year for slots in the company’s executive development program and for summer internships nationwide
NIKE Inc. plans to sell its Cole Haan and Umbro brands in order to focus on driving growth in the NIKE, Jordan, Converse and Hurley brands. The process of divesting of these two businesses will begin immediately, and is expected to be complete by the end of fiscal 2013.
Ross Stores reported sales increased 14% to $2.4 billion, and same-store sales rose 9%. The retailer has increased its long-terms store potential to 2,500 U.S. locations, comprised of 2,000 Ross Dress for Less stores (up from a prior target of 1,500 stores) and 500 DD’s Discounts stores.
Sears Canada Inc. has unveiled a refreshed store concept in four Ontario locations: Barrie, Belleville, Newmarket and at the Lime Ridge mall in Hamilton. The new stores reflect the company’s plans to transform the Sears shopping experience in Canada.
Sears Canada will also launch its New Baby Department in 55 stores.
Zale Corp said it will selectively close a small number of underperforming stores at lease expiration this year and is not focused on opening new stores in the near term.
Real Estate:
Ann Inc. will open a 5,394 sq. ft. Loft store in Fort Worth, TX in the fall.
FGL Sports plans an aggressive expansion of its most popular banners and total retail space over the next five years while closing more than 100 underperforming stores operating under various names.
Gap Inc. opened a new 4,888 sq. ft. Athleta store in Town & Country Village, the retailer’s first in Texas. The company plans to open 50 Athleta stores by 2013. Gap Inc.’s online shop, Piperlime, will make its retail store debut this fall. The new 4,000 sq. ft. Piperlime store will be at 121 Wooster St. in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City.
Golfsmith International Holdings Inc. has opened a store in San Antonio, TX. The store is the area’s largest-ever experiential retail golf store at 30,400 sq. ft.
88th location 10 new store openings and four relocations this year.
Hibbett Sports Inc. plans to open 55 to 60 new stores in fiscal 2013. The company also will expand approximately 15 stores and close up to 18 stores.
Kate Spade LLC plans to expand internationally, with store openings in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo planned for this summer.
Macy’s Inc. announced construction has begun on a 140,000 sq. ft. Macy’s that will anchor a new wing at Gurnee Mills, in Gurnee, IL. The department store is expected to open in late summer 2013.
Neiman Marcus plans to remodel it stores on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, and in Bal Harbour Shops, Bal Harbour, Fla.
Saks Fifth Avenue’s OFF 5TH will open seven new stores in the next two years in Chandler, AZ, Chesterfield, MO, Wesley Chapel and Orlando, FL, Aurora, IL, and Las Vegas, NV.
Technology News:
American Eagle Outfitters is expanding its mobile loyalty program nationally after a successful pilot, enabling more customers to earn rewards by simply walking into a store and to receive special offers.
Macy’s Inc. will start selling some of its private brand merchandise directly to shoppers in China through a deal with an online retailer there.
Neiman Marcus is equipping all of its 4,000 associates at its full-line stores with smartphones in an effort to better serve customers.