Personnel Updates:
Body Central Corp. Announces Retirement of Martin P. Doolan and Election of John K. Haley to Chairman.
The Children’s Place announced that Eric Bauer left the company.
Francesca’s Holdings Corp. appointed former Men’s Wearhouse CFO Neill Davis to its newly created position of President. He will officially become Francesca’s President on Aug. 6.
Hibbett Sports hired Scott J. Bowman as CFO and Senior VP.
JCPenney announced the company has eliminated 350 positions at the Plano, TX headquarters. Also Michael Francis has left the company.
The Jones Group has appointed Scott Bowman to the newly created role of Group President Global Retail and International Development.
New York & Company has named Laura Weil as Exec VP, COO.
Nike announced Larry Miller is rejoining as President of the Jordan brand. Keith Houlemard will now lead the company’s future worldwide Olympic efforts as General Manager.
Nordstrom Inc. promoted Tricia Smith to Exec VP and GMM of Women’s Apparel.

Mergers and Acquisitions:
Ascena Retail Group Inc. announced that it has completed its acquisition of Charming Shoppes Inc. The company said that it plans to cease operating and close down the Fashion Bug business by early 2013.
Sterling Shoes Inc. announced that it successfully completed the sale of 69 of Sterling’s retail locations operating under the Sterling Shoes, Shoe Warehouse and Freedman banners to Town Shoes Limited.
Zumiez Inc. will acquire Blue Tomato, an Austria-based European action sports retailer. The acquisition is projected to close prior to the end of the second quarter of 2012. Blue Tomato operates one of Europe’s largest action sports e-commerce websites. Additionally, the company operates five stores in Austria.
Industry Insight:
The Children’s Place announced that it has signed a 10-year franchise agreement with Apparel Group to open stores in the Arab Gulf States of United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman. The first stores are scheduled to open in the UAE in September in Dubai and Sharjah.

Foot Locker is debuting a new retail brand, The Locker Room, in the United Kingdom. The store concept is approximately 3,300 sq. ft.
Henri Bendel will open two new stores in Las Vegas, NV.
J.Crew is expanding into Asia through a partnership with Hong Kong-based specialty store operator Lane Crawford. It is the first time J.Crew goods will be featured in a retail environment outside of North America.
JCPenney will install over 600 Izod shops in stores in September, as part of both the department store’s ongoing transformation.
Kohl’s is boosting its high-fashion image with the launch of a new, limited-edition collection concept called DesigNation featuring fashions from different premier designeres.  Narcisco Rodriguez will be the first designer featured in the series.
Nordstrom Inc. will build its first-ever, full-line store in New York. The 285,000 sq. ft. store will open in 2018.
Oscar de la Renta Inc. is expanding the retail side of its business. This fall, its Madison Avenue flagship will double in size to 4,000 sq. ft., and the company will open its first-ever location in London. Oscar de la Renta also is considering a retail presence in airports, and perhaps a standalone bridal store.

Sears Canada has opened its largest Sears Home store at Pinecrest Shopping Center in Ottawa, ON. The store will occupy 78,000 sq.-ft. and feature an expanded selection of furniture as well as the largest major appliance and mattress shop of any Sears location.
Von Mauer is planning a dramatic expansion of its existing e-commerce fulfillment center. Once completed, the new facility will measure 119,000 sq.ft.
Real Estate:
Aritzia will open its largest store to date, a 13,000-sq.-ft. flagship on Fifth Avenue in New York City.
Cabela’s is opening a new 100,000 sq. ft. store in Rogers, AR.
Dick’s Sporting Goods announced it opened two new stores on June 13. A store at Bloomfield Town Square, in Bloomfield, MI and a new store at Northborough Crossing, in Northborough, MA.
Hibbett Sports announced plans to build a wholesaling and logistics facility in Alabaster, AL. Construction on the new 360,000-sq.-ft. center is expected to commence in fall 2012 with the facility expected to be fully operational by fall 2014. When completed, it will replace the existing 180,000-sq.-ft. facility that the company currently leases in Birmingham.
Nordstrom said it will open a Nordstrom Rack at The Fountains at Farah, a new power and lifestyle shopping center in El Paso, TX. The store will be approximately 35,000 sq. ft. and is scheduled to open in fall 2013. Nordstrom also announced plans to open a Nordstrom Rack at Northgate Mall in Seattle, WA. The approximately 41,000 sq. ft. store is scheduled to open later this fall. 
Green Initiatives:
Kohl’s is strengthening its commitment to renewable energy, by increasing its solar program by nearly 25% in 2012, and installing solar panels at approximately 30 additional Kohl’s locations.