Personnel Updates:

American Apparel Inc. announced that Iris Alonzo has been reinstalled as Senior Creative Director.

Ascena Retail Group announced Michael Rayden plans to step down as President and CEO of the company’s Justice and Brothers division at the end of January 2015.

Finish Line Inc. has named Samuel Sato as President of the company and elected him to its board.

Foot Locker Inc. announced its CEO Ken Hicks plans to retire after this month. His successor, current COO Richard Johnson, will become CEO on Dec. 1. named Clay Cowan Chief Marketing Officer to oversee global strategy, management, and revenue, for all digital channels.

Neiman Marcus named Sarah Hendrickson as Chief Information Security Officer.

Nike Inc. announced that Daric Ashford will become President of Nike Golf.

REI named Ben Steele as the company’s first ever Chief Creative Officer. He will start in his role at REI’s headquarters on January 1, 2015.

VF Corp. announced Patrik Frisk, who headed its Timberland business, has left the company to become CEO of Aldo Group Inc. Frisk will replace Rejean Dionne, who recently retired.

Financial Focus:

Delia’s is looking for an acquirer after reporting that it won’t be able to meet its cash requirements for the next year.

Mergers and Acquisitions:

Quiksilver Inc. and Sydney-based SurfStitch Group announced that they have reached a definitive agreement for the sale of Quiksilver’s majority ownership interest in Surfdome. Quiksilver will sell the online retailer of action sports products to SurfStitch, an Australian based online retailer of action sports products for approximately $16 million. As part of the transaction, Surfdome will continue to carry Quiksilver, Roxy and DC products under a two-year supply agreement. The transaction is expected to close before the end of the year.

Industry Insight:

Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp. plans to open 10 new stores in fourth quarter fiscal 2014. By year-end, the company anticipates a store count of 439.

Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc. recently announced a strategic partnership with Macy’s Inc. to open licensed shop-in-shop locations in select major markets for the holiday season. Build-A-Bear Workshop will bring its interactive retail experience to five locations within leading Macy’s stores— Herald Square in New York; State Street, Chicago; Center City, Philadelphia; Union Square, San Francisco; and South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, CA. Build-A-Bear also will be showcased in Macy’s Santaland at select stores. The shop-in-shops are scheduled to open by early November.

Columbia Sportswear launched it’s first-ever flagship Performance Fishing Gear (PFG) concept store. The 3,176 sq. ft. store will open at the Avalon Mall in Alpharetta, GA.

Gap Inc. has signed agreements to open Old Navy stores in six Middle Eastern countries beginning spring 2015. The first markets include U.A.E., Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Kipling North America, a division of VF Sportswear Inc., will open its first New York store in SoHo on Nov. 20.

The Joseph Abboud brand has launched an exclusive new collection at and in early 2015 the brand plans to open its first physical store thanks to parent company Men’s Wearhouse.

Macy’s Inc. plans to open a 205,000 sq. ft., four-level Macy’s and 230,000 sq. ft., four-level Bloomingdale’s stores in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in 2018. The stores will mark Macy’s first international store location and the second for Bloomingdale’s.

Macy’s Inc. is introducing the Holiday Arcade, in-store shops offering customers an assortment of specialty toy and novelty gifts. Holiday Arcade shops will launch at six Macy’s locations from late October through mid-November, including Macy’s South Coast Plaza (Costa Mesa, Calif.), Macy’s Union Square (San Francisco), Macy’s Dadeland (Miami), Macy’s State Street (Chicago), Macy’s Herald Square (New York) and Macy’s Center City (Philadelphia).

Sears announced it will close its operations at the King of Prussia Mall in Pennsylvania. Primark, a European retailer looking to open its first U.S. store will occupy up to 100,000 square feet of the lower level space. The remainder of the Sear’s space, about 75,000 square feet on the upper level, had already been leased to Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Skechers announced it has opened its 1,000th retail store.

Real Estate:

Anthropologie has signed a lease for 28,141 square feet at 195 Broadway in New York City, NY.

Cabela’s Inc. will open its first Houston-area store next year. The 72,000 sq. ft. store will anchor a new retail development in League City. Construction on the development is expected to begin later this year and the store is slated to open in fall 2015.

DSW Inc. opened a new store on Oct. 30 located in the Oak Pointe Plaza in Eau Claire, WI.

Golfsmith International has opened its first-ever Las Vegas store. The 23,000 sq. ft. store is located in the new Downtown Summerlin development.

John Varvatos Enterprises recently announced plans to open his first Midwest retail boutique in downtown Detroit. The 4,000 sq. ft. store will be located at 1500 Woodward Ave. and is slated to open in spring 2015.

Neiman Marcus’ Last Call Studio will open Nov. 21st at the 48,000 sq. ft. Brooklyn Heights Plaza in the base of the Municipal Building at 210 Joralemon St. in New York City, NY.

Nordstrom, Inc. announced plans to open a Nordstrom Rack at Foothills Mall in Fort Collins, CO. The approximately 32,000 sq. ft. store is scheduled to open in fall 2015. The company also announced plans to open a 38,080 sq. ft. Nordstrom Rack in Clearwater, FL, and a 35,250 sq. ft. Nordstrom Rack at Crossroads at Eatontown in Eatontown, NJ in fall 2015.

Nordstrom Inc. announced plans to close its Mall of Georgia Store in Buford, GA on February 28, 2015.

Quiksilver has just inked a 5,900 square foot lease for its new Boardriders concept at 408 W. 14th St., opposite the Apple store. The new concept opens in 2015.

Saks Fifth Avenue plans to close its store located in the Shops at Riverside in Hackensack, NJ later this year. The company also announced it has opened a relocated Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH store at the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls in Niagara Falls, NY.

Sears Holdings Corp. may close as many as 100 stores and layoff nearly 5,500 people before the year’s end. Closures include Kmart, Sears and Sears Auto Center locations. States hit hardest by the closures include Pennsylvania, Michigan and Indiana, as well as New York, Florida, Ohio, Illinois and Minnesota.

Von Maur Inc. has opened its first Oklahoma store. The 150,000 sq. ft., split-level store is located at Quail Springs Mall in Oklahoma City, OK.