Personnel Updates:

Bebe Stores Inc. named Steve Birkhold as its new CEO.

Delia’s announced Walter Killough will step down as CEO on April 1.

Gap Inc. named Old Navy Exec VP Tom Sands as Exec VP Gap North America.

Gymboree announced Mark Breitbard is going to take over as CEO.

JCPenney hired former Abercrombie & Fitch Co. executive Brandon Tonniges as a Director of Visual Merchandising.

Modell’s Sporting Goods named Charles Castaneda as Chief Merchandising Officer. The company has also moved Jay O’Brien to GMM of Sporting Goods, and Jeff Schaffer has been promoted to GMM of Footwear.

Nike has named Roger Wyett as its new VP of Action Sports. Wyett will oversee Nike brand’s skateboarding and snow businesses, as well as Hurley International LLC. Sandy Bodecker, the current VP of Action Sports at Nike, will now work on special projects involving long-term product innovation.

Quiksilver appointed Andy Mooney as President and CEO. He succeeds Quiksilver’s co-founder Bob McKnight, who has been named Executive Chairman.

Sears Canada announced Sharon Driscoll, CFO, has left the company.

Sears Holdings Corp. announced that CEO Louis J. D’Ambrosio will step down as CEO, effective Feb. 2, for family health reasons. He will be replaced by the company’s chairman and its largest shareholder, Edward Lampert.

The Wet Seal has named John D. Goodman to serve as its new CEO.


Mergers and Acquisitions:

Gap Inc. acquired women’s fashion boutique Intermix Inc for $130 million. The retailer plans to double Intermix’s store count and look for opportunities to expand the chain overseas. Intermix has 32 stores in the United States and Canada.

TJX Companies Inc. has acquired Sierra Trading Post, a Cheyenne, WY-based online retailer. In addition to Sierra’s e-commerce operations, the deal also includes 4 outlet stores in Wyoming, Idaho and Nevada.


Industry Insight:

Banana Republic has teamed up with designer Michelle Smith to introduce a 60 piece collection of her signature Milly brand that includes women’s apparel and Smith’s first foray into the menswear category.

Big M, which owns chains Mandee and Annie Sez, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing the Sandy-related closures of stores in New York and New Jersey.  Big M is planning only a handful of store closures as a part of the bankruptcy, and did not specify which locations will be shuttered.

Destination Maternity Corp. has opened its first Destination Maternity store in Canada. The 3,300 sq. ft. location is in Calgary, AB, at the Kingsland Village retail development.

Gap Inc. will open its first Brazilian stores in Sao Paulo in fall 2013, followed by Rio de Janeiro.

Gap Inc. announced plans to close two facilities in Northern Kentucky on June 30. The move will impact about 350 workers.

H&M, this year, will open its first stores in Chile, Estonia, Lithuania, Serbia and via franchise in Indonesia.

Sears Canada has signed Buffalo International to design and produce its entire private-label Nevada fashion line for men and women, and sealed a separate deal with The Aldo Group to create three footwear brands.

Winmark Corp. announced it will roll out a new concept this summer that will resell women’s apparel and accessories.


Real Estate:

Cabela’s Inc. announced plans for two new stores to open in 2014, one in Greenville, SC, and the other in Woodbury, MN.

Forever 21 Inc. opened a new 80,000 sq. ft. multilevel store at Mall of America in Bloomington, MN.

Golf & Tennis Pro Shop Inc. is opening its first PGA TOUR Superstore West Coast location in East Palo Alto, CA. Scheduled to open in Spring 2013, the 47,000 sq. ft. superstore will be located at 1751 E. Bayshore Rd.

Joe’s Jeans Inc. has opened a new 1,000 sq. ft. store at the Fashion Valley shopping center in San Diego, CA.

Nordstrom Inc. plans to open another new Nordstrom Rack store in South Portland, ME. The approximately 30,000 sq. ft. store at Maine Crossing Shopping Center will be its first location in the state, and is scheduled to open this spring.

Redcats USA announced it has begun the process to close 96 Avenue Stores over the next few months.

UNIQLO plans to open two additional New York stores in spring 2013. The 24,000 sq. ft. stores will be located at the Palisades Center in West Nyack and Westchester’s Ridge Hill in Yonkers.


Green Initiatives:

Kohl’s Corporation announced activation of the company’s largest solar project at its million-square-foot e-commerce fulfillment center in Edgewood, MD.