Personnel Updates:

Bloomingdale’s announced Stephanie Solomon, the retailer’s VP of Fashion, is retiring.

Brown Shoe Company’s President and CEO Diane Sullivan will take over as Chairman effective Feb. 2, 2014, once Ron Fromm steps down.

Foot Locker Inc. has appointed Paulette Alvitti as Senior VP, Chief Human Resources Officer.

Gordmans Inc. has appointed Geoffrey Ayoub as Senior VP Planning, Allocation and Analysis.

JCPenney Co. Inc. announced Kristen Blum, Chief Technology Officer and Exec VP, has resigned.

Kohl’s has appointed former Starbucks executive Michelle Gass to the newly created position of Chief Customer Officer.

Shoe Carnival, Inc. appointed Kent Zimmerman as VP E-Commerce.

Tiffany & Co. has named Anthony Ludru Senior VP of North America.

Wet Seal announced that Lesli Gilbert has been appointed Exec VP, Stores and Operations.

Zale Corp. named Terry Burman as Chairman.


Mergers and Acquisitions:

Apax Partners LLP has agreed to acquire Rue21.

Sycamore Partners has completed its acquisition of Hot Topic Inc., returning the Hot Topic namesake stores and the Torrid banner to the private sector.


Industry Insight:

American Eagle Outfitters will construct a new direct-to-consumer distribution center in Hazle Township, PA.

Gap Inc. expects to have a presence in eight Latin American countries by the end of 2013, with expectations to add a brand presence in Costa Rica in the near future.

Xcel Brands announced the debut of Isaac Mizrahi New York, in Southampton, NY.

JCPenney Co. Inc. recently debuted an entirely new home store. More than 500 stores received a complete home department renovation with updated flooring, accent lighting, custom fixtures and widened aisles. The company also announced it rebranded its big and tall men’s sections. Foundry Big & Tall sections have been added to 983 stores.

Kohl’s Department Stores has announced plans to open a new customer service operations center in Dallas, TX. Expected to open in late spring 2014, the two-building, three-story, 240,000 sq. ft. facility will support the continued growth of the company’s Kohl’s Charge program, as well as its online business.

Loft, a division of Ann Taylor Inc., will open four new stores in Ontario, Canada, before the end of this year. The first of the four new stores is slated to open at Toronto Eaton Centre in late May, followed by additional concept locations at Lime Ridge Mall in Hamilton in July, Markville Shopping Centre in Markham in August and Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga in October.

Lululemon Athletica Inc. will start opening standalone men’s stores by 2016.


Real Estate:

Bloomingdale’s plans to open a 167,000 sq. ft., three-level store at the Ala Moana Center in Honolulu, HI in fall 2015. It will be the retailer’s first location in the state of Hawaii.

Cabela’s Inc. plans to open new stores in New York and Massachusetts.

The 88,000 sq. ft. store in Cheektowaga, NY, will open in fall 2014, and a similarly sized one in Berlin, MA, will open in spring 2015. In addition, the retailer announced it will expand its newer, smaller-footprint store, Cabela’s Outpost, to Lubbock, TX.  Construction of the 42,000 sq. ft. store is scheduled to begin this fall with a summer 2014 opening.

Dick’s Sporting Goods opened new stores in Petaluma, CA and Pensacola, FL.

DSW Inc. has opened a new store located in South Shore Plaza in Braintree, MA.

Golfsmith International opened its first Xtreme golf store in Myrtle Beach, SC. The store is 35,000 sq. ft. The company also announced it opened a new two-story, 15,000 sq. ft. store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, NY.

Joe’s Jeans Inc. expects to open 12 stores annually, for an expected portfolio of 100 U.S. stores by 2017. The planned stores include primarily mall-based units, a change from the denim label’s typical urban retail street locations.

Macy’s Inc. will close its downtown St. Louis, MO location. The retailer plans to open a new store in Ponce, PR, in fall 2015. The two-level, 150,000 sq. ft. store will be located in Plaza Del Caribe.

Michael Kors Holdings plans to open up to 50 stores in North America in its current fiscal year, plus additional units in Europe and the Far East.

Nine West, a division of The Jones Group Inc., has opened a newly renovated flagship store in Toronto located in the Yorkdale Mall.

REI plans to open new stores in Flagstaff, AZ, and Columbus, OH in spring 2014. The 23,550 sq. ft. Flagstaff store will be located at Aspen Place at the Sawmill and the 23,400 sq. ft. Columbus store will open in Easton Gateway.