Personnel Updates:

Bergdorf Goodman named Tracy Margolies Senior VP and GMM and John Capizzi as VP and General Manager. Elizabeth Hui von der Goltz was promoted to Senior VP and GMM.

Bluefly named James Gallagher as CFO.

Clarks Cos. announced a new real estate team. Brianna Kling has been promoted to Director of the Northeast Region, and Jim Balducci has joined the company as Regional Director of the Western Region.

Coldwater Creek Inc. announced that co-founder Dennis Pence will retire as President and CEO. He will remain as a director and continue to serve as chairman of the board until January 1, 2014. Pence will be succeeded as President and CEO by Coldwater President and Chief Merchandising Officer Jill Brown Dean. Michele Donnan Martin will join Coldwater Creek as Senior VP, GMM, and will be responsible for leading all product merchandising functions.

Eddie Bauer has named former Best Buy executive Steve Venegas as its new VP of Distribution North America.

Gilt Groupe Inc. appointed board member Michelle Peluso CEO effective at the end of February 2013 to replace company founder Kevin Ryan. Kevin Ryan will remain as chairman. Current Chairman Susan Lyne will become Vice Chairman.

Hudson’s Bay Co. has hired retail veteran Marie Holman-Rao to lead Lord & Taylor. Holman-Rao has been named Chief Creative Officer of the Lord & Taylor brand, to oversee its design, development and marketing.

JCPenney Co. announced Ken Mangone, Exec VP Product Development, Design and Sourcing has resigned.

The Jones Group Inc. promoted Aida Tejero-DeColli to the newly created position of Chief People Officer.

Sears Canada Inc. announced that Douglas C. Campbell has been promoted to Exec VP and COO.

Shoe Carnival named Carl Scibetta the new Exec VP and GMM.

The Children’s Place has appointed Michael Scarpa as its new Exec VP and CFO, replacing Steven Baginski, who will be leaving the company.


Mergers and Acquisitions:

Aeropostale, Inc. has acquired online women’s fashion footwear and apparel retailer

Versa Capital Management, a Philadelphia-based private equity investment firm, has acquired Eastern Mountain Sports, which operates 69 stores in 12 Eastern states.


Industry Insight:

Claire’s Stores Inc. announced the recent opening of the first Claire’s stores in China, in DaNing Life Hub in Shanghai. The company’s second China store opened in Grand Gateway Mall in Shanghai. Claire’s has entered China on an owned and operated basis and has established a new division based in Shanghai. The company has also opened its first-ever Claire’s stores in Italy and Luxembourg. The Italian store is located in the Milan Fiordaliso shopping center and the Luxembourg store is located in Esch Sur Alzette on Rue de l’Alzette.

Diane von Furstenberg unveiled a new 2,000 sq. ft. store prototype at The Forum Shops at Caesars in Las Vegas, NV.

Foot Locker announced the introduction of SIX:02, an elevated retail concept featuring fitness apparel and athletic footwear for women. The first three stores will open for the holiday season in Stamford Mall in Stamford, CT, Willowbrook Mall in Wayne, NJ, and North Star Mall in San Antonio, TX.

Gucci has opened it’s largest-ever store in India. Located at The Oberoi hotel in Gurgaon, Haryana, the bi-level, 4,220 sq. ft. store is the brands fifth in India.

J. Crew Group Inc. will open its first store outside of North America in London. The 17,000 sq. ft. store is set to open late-2013, on the corner of Regent and New Burlington streets. The store will house separate women’s and men’s stores, each with its own entrance, as well as a section for its children’s line Crewcuts.


Real Estate:

Casual Male Retail Group plans to accelerate the opening of 225 to 250 DXL stores in major metropolitan areas and to close all its traditional Casual Male XL locations across the country by the end of 2015.

Gap Inc. will begin construction on its new Miami, FL store in early 2013. The two-level, 20,000 sq. ft. flagship will be located along Miami Beach’s Lincoln Road. While the flagship is under construction, the retailer will operate a temporary store at 166 Meridian Ave.

Golf & Tennis Pro Shop Inc. announced it opened its first Northeast location. The 57,000 sq. ft. PGA Tour Superstore is in Paramus, NJ.

Hibbett Sports reported it is on track to open 57 to 60 new stores in fiscal 2013, expand approximately 17 high-performing stores, and close up to 18 stores.

Nordstrom Inc. announced plans to open an approximately 140,000 sq.-ft. store at Mayfair, in Wauwatosa, WI. Scheduled to open in 2015, it will be the retailer’s first full-line store in the greater Milwaukee area.

Yves Saint Laurent will open a new store in Chicago, IL in fall 2013. The 2,375 sq. ft. store will be at the Waldorf Astoria hotel located at E. Walton and Rush streets.


Technology News:

The Finish Line announced the re-launch of with an enhanced focus on the customer. Finish Line collaborated with several industry innovators on the re-launch.