Personnel Updates:
Barneys New York promoted Daniella Vitale to the newly created position of COO.
Claire’s Stores announced that Jay Friedman, President of Claire’s Stores North America, has resigned.
The Doneger Group appointed Courtney Quinn as Merchandising Director of its contemporary, better/bridge and designer division. Quinn replaces Carol Hoffman, who has resigned to pursue other interests. Jonathan Greller was appointed as COO.
Esprit named Jose Manuel Martinez Gutierrez as its new Group CEO and Executive Director.
Fossil Inc. announced Tom Kennedy was promoted to Exec VP. Edward J. Robben joined the company as Senior VP and CIO, and Joanne Calabrese joined as Senior VP Retail Merchandising.
Hot Topic named Kate Horton as VP, GMM for its Torrid division.
Lands’ End named Michael Rosera as COO and CFO.
Limited Brands plans to hire nearly 2,000 seasonal employees to work primarily at the company’s Reynoldsburg, OH distribution centers.
Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. said CFO Tracey Travis has resigned.
Sears Holdings said its former Interim CEO Bruce Johnson has agreed to serve as CEO and President of Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores Inc. once the business is spun off from the retailer.
Sport Chalet promoted Danielle Dolloff to the newly created position of VP Planning and Logistics to lead its efforts for increased vendor collaboration.
Talbots Inc. named Michael Archbold as the new CEO and CFO. Lizanne Kindler is the new President and Michele Mandel has been appointed COO.
Wet Seal Inc. announced it fired CEO Susan McGalla and has started looking for a replacement.
Mergers and Acquisitions:
Camping World has acquired Reichart’s Camping Center, an existing RV dealership in Hanover, PA. The location will be officially named Camping World of Hanover.
The Lids Sports Group retail division has reached an acquisition agreement with JAS Sports Inc., the Seattle-based retailer of officially licensed Washington collegiate and Seattle professional sports team merchandise. The purchase consists of nine brick-and-mortar stores operating under the Seattle Team Shop, The Dawg Den and Sodo Sports banners, as well as the mobile concession operations near Safeco Field and Century Link Field. In addition, the purchase consists of multiple online shops, which include Wazzugear.com, Soundersgear.com, Thedawgden.com and Seattleteams.com.
Samsonite Corp. is acquiring Hartmann Inc.
Industry Insight:
American Eagle Outfitters Inc. has sold its 77kids stores to Ezra Dabah, a former CEO of The Children’s Place. The sale included substantially all of the 77kids assets, including the online business, and a temporary license to use the 77kids name through 1/15/13.
Express will open more than 30 Express stores over a five-year period in Panama, Peru, Costa Rica, Colombia, The Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Express said it expects there will be up to three Express locations open in Panama, Peru, and Costa Rica by the end of the fourth quarter.
Forever 21 Inc. has unveiled an additional 6,300 sq. ft. of space at its Oxford Street store in London. The store now features 39,000 sq. ft. of space. The retailer also has added a store in Manchester, northern England, to its U.K. portfolio. The 20,000 sq. ft. store is located in the Trafford Centre mall, and is expected to become the retailer’s second largest in the United Kingdom in terms of volume.
H&M will debut H&M Home in America in early 2013. H&M produces three main collections each season and introduces a large number of accessories and furnishings every two weeks.
J. Crew will open its first Asia store, in Hong Kong, as early as 2013. The retailer is also seeking sites in Beijing and Shanghai. The company will open a store in London next year.
JCPenney announced a partnership with Canadian fast-fashion brand Joe Fresh that will see some 700 Joe Fresh in-store boutiques open in JCPenney stores in April 2013. The retailer previously announced similar partnerships with Levi’s and other denim brands to augment its current Sephora and MNG by Mango in-store offerings. JCPenney’s goal is to launch two or three shop-in-shops per month with a goal of reaching 80 to 100 by 2015.
JCPenney is once again tweaking its pricing structure, by eliminating one of the tiers and bring back the word “clearance.”
J. Crew Group Inc. is expanding its Ludlow offering and plans to open its second store devoted to the concept in Boston this fall.
Lululemon Athletica introduced a new dance-inspired active wear label for girls and teens in the U.S., called ivivva athletica.
Macy’s Inc. opened a major portion of the redesigned shoe floor at its Herald Square flagship in New York. Dubbed “the world’s largest” shoe floor, the revamped section will encompass 280,000 pairs of shoes, representing a 50 percent increase in product.

Nordstrom Inc. plans to launch Topshop and Topman departments in 14 stores.
Old Navy opened a store in Japan, setting up shop outside of North America for the first time.
Real Estate:
Ann Taylor celebrated the grand opening of its 7,500 sq. ft. new Ann Taylor Loft store at Woodbury Common Premium Outlets, in Central Valley, NY.
Cabela’s announced it would open a store in Saginaw, MI in spring 2013, and a store in Anchorage, AK in spring 2014.
Daffy’s is going out of business and will close all of its 19 stores this fall.
Express will open two flagship stores in 2013, one in Times Square in New York City in the summer and the other in San Francisco’s Union Square in the fall.
Flip Flop Shops is expanding into the Chicago market. The chain plans to open more than 10 stores there over the next five years.
Gap Inc. will replace its existing store along Miami Beach’s Lincoln Road with a two-story 29,000 sq. ft. flagship. Construction will begin in early 2013.
H&M is closing its downtown Hong Kong flagship location in fall 2013.
Henri Bendel opened a 2,300 sq. ft. store at Cherry Hill Mall, in Cherry Hill, NJ.
Hot Topic Inc. plans to open 20 Torrid stores by the end of the year.
The Neiman Marcus Group Inc. plans to close the Neiman Marcus store located in Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis, MN. The 118,000 sq. ft. store will close by July 2013.
Nordstrom plans to launch its first stores in Canada in 2013. Nordstrom Inc. is accelerating the growth of its Nordstrom Rack concept. The company plans to open 15 additional Rack stores before the end of the year, and 24 stores are planned for 2013. By the end of 2016 the company expects to operate more than 230 Nordstrom Rack stores.
Rag & Bone will open a flagship store in London, marking the retailer’s first-ever European flagship.
Recreational Equipment Inc. will open its first-ever Kansas store in Overland Park. The 23,500 sq. ft. store is slated to open in fall 2013. Additional stores are slated to open this fall in San Antonio, TX; Cincinnati, OH; Woodbridge, VA; and Medford, OR.
Sports Authority will open a 25,000 sq. ft. store at the Broadmoor Towne Center in Pennsylvania. The opening of that store will follow the closing of Sports Authority’s location at the Rustic Hills Shopping Center.
Visionworks opened its first store in the Philadelphia area. Located in Deptford Township, NJ, it is the first of more than 25 stores expected to open in the market through 2013.
Technology News:
Dick’s Sporting Goods launched aninteractive catalog application for the iPad designed to make researching and purchasing football gear easier for customers.
JCPenney plans to completely change the checkout experience at stores. Using advanced Wi-Fi networks, mobile checkout, RFID (radio-frequency identification) tracking systems for goods, and all sorts of self-checkout possibilities, JCPenney will get rid of cashiers, cash registers, and checkout counters, the staples near the exits of virtually every store, as soon as 2014.