Personnel Updates:

Ascena Retail Group announced that Judith Langley has joined Dressbarn as Exec VP and Chief Merchandising Officer. Most recently, she was Exec VP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Charming Charlie’s.

Brooks Brothers announced that Mary Pytko has joined the company as its new Exec VP of Global Human Resources.

Burberry announced CEO Angela Ahrendts will leave the company in the spring to work for Apple Inc. Her role will be filled by the company’s Chief Creative Officer, Christopher Bailey, who will hold the titles of Chief Creative Officer and CEO.

Crocs Inc. appointed Greg Sullivan as General Manager for the Americas region.

Gander Mountain has promoted Mike Owens to the position of President and COO.

Hibbett Sports, Inc. announced that effective February 2, 2014, Mickey Newsome will transition from his current position as Executive Chairman and employee of the company to non-executive Chairman.

Hudson’s Bay Company has appointed Michael Crotty as Exec VP, Chief Marketing Officer, Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor. The company also named Russ Hardin as Senior VP, Chief Creative Officer, Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor.

Hudson’s Bay Co. announced its newly formed executive team. The company promoted Liz Rodbell to President of the Department Store Group. Mary Turner has become Exec VP of Merchandising, Wayne Drummond is Group Senior VP and Jonathan Greller has been promoted to Group Senior VP for private brands and specialty. MaryAnne Morin has been promoted to Group Senior VP for center core, intimate apparel, ladies suits and dresses. Hudson’s Bay Co. also now owns Saks Fifth Avenue and will be rebuilding the executive team there as well.

Louis Vuitton has named Nicolas Ghesquiere as its new Artistic Director.

Lululemon announced Tara Poseley as the new Chief Merchandising Officer.

Macy’s, Inc. announced Tony Spring will succeed Michael Gould as Chairman and CEO of Bloomingdale’s effective Feb. 1, 2014.

NIKE, Inc. announced Scott LeClair will become Nike’s new VP of Action Sports. Roger Wyett, who was previously in the role, has decided to retire.

Sephora announced that Calvin McDonald has been named President and CEO of Sephora Americas, effective Jan. 1, 2014. McDonald, who previously served as President and CEO of Sears Canada, succeeds David Suliteanu.

Tiffany & Co. announced Patrick McGuiness has resigned and James Fernandez, Exec VP and COO, will assume the position of CFO on an interim basis.

True Religion Apparel has announced several personal changes. Rosella Giuliani will join the company as Senior VP of Merchandising, Steve Horak will join the company as Senior VP of Planning and Allocation, Mary Alderete as the company’s Chief Marketing Officer and Ilene Eskenazi was named Chief Legal Officer and Senior VP of Human Resources.

Under Armour announced that COO Kip Fulks has added President of Product to his current responsibilities, while Henry Stafford is now serving as President of North America. Under Armour also announced the addition of Susie McCabe as Senior VP, Global Retail and Jason LaRose as Senior VP, Global E-Commerce.

Vera Bradley named Robert Wallstrom as CEO.

Wolverine World Wide has appointed Frank Annunziata as VP and General Manager of Sebago.


Mergers and Acquisitions:

Hudson’s Bay Co. has completed its acquisition of Saks Inc. The combined company will operate a total of 320 stores, including 179 full-line specialty department stores, 72 outlet stores and 69 home stores in prime locations throughout the U.S., and Canada, along with three e-commerce sites.


Industry Insight:

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. said it would expand its women’s tops collection, offer larger sizes and more colors, and start selling shoes starting next spring.

Brown Shoe Company-owned footwear, accessory and soon-to-be apparel brand, Sam Edelman, launched a dedicated e-commerce site which will allow consumers to purchase online directly from the retailer for the first time.

Claire’s Stores has entered into a partnership with Dylan’s Candy Bar, the world’s largest confectionary emporium and lifestyle brand, whereby Claire’s will sell an edited selection of Dylan’s candies.

H&M opened a new 42,000 sq. ft. store in New York’s Time Square.

Macy’s Inc. said that most of its stores will open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving evening. It’s the first time in its history that the company will be open for business on the holiday.

Perry Ellis International has launched a new e-commerce site dedicated to selling Callaway Golf Apparel. The site offers U.S. and Canadian customers a fully-branded, online shopping experience.

Rue21 Inc. has launched a new online shopping site. The company also recently opened its 1,000th store.

Saks Inc. announced its flagship in Manhattan, NY will be getting a major makeover.

Stuart Weitzman has partnered with the online shopping destination, Gilt, to launch a pop-up shop in the digital space.

Under Armour has opened a store in Shanghai, China.

Uniqlo has opened a pop-up store in the 14th Street-Union Square subway station in Manhattan, NY. The pop-shop will be open through the holidays.

Real Estate:

Abercrombie & Fitch will shutter all 28 of its Gilly Hicks stores. Most closures will occur by the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2014. The retailer will continue to sell Gilly Hicks branded merchandise through its Hollister retail banner and direct-to-consumer channel.

The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. opened its second clearance store, under the Carson’s name in Lansing, IL.

Bon-Ton Stores plan to close its location in the mall at Steamtown in Scranton, PA. The company will not renew the lease, which terminates January 31, 2014. The company also announced it will close its Boston Store Harbor Center location in Sheboygan, WI at the same time.

Cabela’s Inc. announced plans to enter three new markets: Nanaimo, BC, Garner, NC and Sun Prairie, WI. The 100,000 sq. ft. Garner store, its first North Carolina location, is expected to open in spring of 2015. In Sun Prairie, WI, Cabela’s will open an 86,000 sq. ft. store in spring 2015. The 50,000 sq. ft. store in Nanaimo, BC will open in fall 2014. It will be Cabela’s first location in British Columbia. Cabela’s Inc. also announced plans to open a 50,000 sq. ft. store in Moncton, NB in 2015.

Dick’s Sporting Goods announced that its second freestanding Field & Stream location opened on November 1, in Buttermilk Towne Center, Crescent Springs, KY.

Dick’s Sporting Goods opened three new stores in Newport, KY, Stroudsburg, PA, and South County Mall in South County, MO. The company also opened a newly remodeled store in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Gander Mountain announced new stores will open in Dothan, AL, Albany, GA and Tampa, FL in the coming weeks. Gander Mountain is planning to open a new 50,700 sq. ft. store at 6101 Capital Blvd. in Raleigh, NC in the spring of 2014.

JCPenney will close its Latham Circle Mall store near Albany, NY on or around January 4, 2014.

J.Jill has unveiled a redesigned store concept in four markets across the United States. The new concept features a modern, easy-to-navigate layout. The new prototype stores will launch this pre-holiday season in four cities: Short Hills, NJ, Huntington Station, NY, King of Prussia, PA, and San Diego, CA.

Lands’ End opened its first standalone store in a shopping mall. The store will be located in the Yorktown Center Mall in Lombard, IL.

Lane Bryant opened two new stores in Carbondale, IL, and Bey Lea Plaza in Toms River, NJ. The retailer also opened two refreshed stores in Dallas, TX and El Paso, TX.

Nordstrom, Inc. announced plans to open a 33,000 sq. ft. Nordstrom Rack at Gateway Center in Brooklyn, NY. The company also plans to open a 32,000 sq. ft. Nordstrom Rack at Magnolia Park in Greenville, SC. Both stores are scheduled to open in fall 2014.

Peebles opened a new 2,400 sq ft. store in Troy, NY at Troy Plaza on Hoosick Street.

Saks Fifth Avenue will unveil a newly renovated men’s store at its Boca Raton, FL location in late November. The company opened a new Off 5th store in Pearl, MS on Nov. 14. The 17,000 sq. ft. store is located in the Outlets of Mississippi.

Stein Mart is expanding its presence this fall with four new stores and two relocated stores. The new stores are located in El Paso, TX, Buford, GA, Elk Grove, CA and Watchung, NJ.  Planned stores in Anaheim, CA and Colorado Springs, CO are a relocation of another area store.

Von Maur Department Store has opened its newest location in Hoover, AL. The 185,000 sq. ft. store is the company’s first location in Alabama and one of the largest locations in the country.

Green Initiatives:

Eileen Fisher, Quiksilver, Prana, Patagonia, Lululemon Athletica and other global clothing brands have partnered with environmental organization Canopy to develop purchasing policies that aim to end the use of endangered forest fiber.

JCPenney Co. has secured Energy Star certifications in more than 500 stores. Additionally, the company has installed rooftop solar-energy systems in 12 retail locations.

Recreational Equipment Inc. retrofitted its Seattle data center, resulting in a 93 percent reduction in the cooling energy used to operate the facility.