Personnel Updates:

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. announced the promotion of Amy Zehrer to the position of Exec VP Stores.

Ascena Retail Group announced that Linda Heasley has accepted the position of President and CEO of Lane Bryant. She joins Lane Bryant after six years as President and CEO of The Limited. The company also announced it has named Ronnie Robinson to the position of president Ascena Global Sourcing (AGS).

Bebe Stores, Inc. named Brigitte Bogart Exec VP of Design and Product Development.

Belk Inc. has named Dorlisa Flur to the newly created position of Exec VP Omni-channel.

Body Central announced Andrea Jackson has joined the company as Senior VP, GMM and will be responsible for merchandising. Other new hires included the appointment of Patti Simigran as Senior VP of E-Commerce and Direct Merchandising, Debbie Martin as Senior VP of Trend and Design and Grant Simmons as VP of E-Commerce Marketing.

Charming Charlie announced that Tom Fitzgerald has joined the company as Exec VP, CAO and CFO.

Claire’s Stores announced Linda Hefner Filler has been named President of Claire’s North America. Holly Cohen joined the company as Senior VP, Global Real Estate and Construction. She previously served in the same role for J. Crew. Claire’s also announced that Peter Collyer will join the company from the Walt Disney Co. as Senior VP Global Human Resources.

Coach announced that Victor Luis has been appointed President and Chief Commercial Officer. Concurrently, he has joined the board of directors. He will become CEO in January 2014. Lew Frankfort will continue as Chairman and CEO during this interim period and will then become executive chairman. Zach Augustine will join Coach as Exec VP, Global Environments. Erin Thompson will join Coach this spring as VP, Artistic Director, Global Environments. The company appointed Sandra Hill, Exec VP Women’s Design.

Hudson’s Bay Company has named Eileen DiLeo Exec VP of Stores for the Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor divisions, succeeding Debbie Edwards who will retire on May 1.

JCPenney has cut loose at least 300 workers at the retailer’s headquarters in Plano, TX. The cuts will leave the company’s headquarters with less than half the workers it had when CEO Ron Johnson took the reins in late 2011.

Men’s Wearhouse has named Jon W. Kimmins as Exec VP and CFO, effective April 4.

Quiksilver, Inc. announced the appointments of Tom Hartge as Global Head of Footwear and Kasey Mazzone as Global Head of Supply Chain. The additions to the team are part of a larger senior management reorganization, which includes Pierre Agnes, President of Quiksilver Europe, assuming the additional role as Global Head of Apparel.

Rue21, Inc. announced that Stacy B. Siegal has been promoted to the additional position of Chief Administrative Officer.

Sears Canada Inc. appointed E.J. Bird as Interim CFO.

VF Corporation announced that Scott A. Roe has been named as the company’s VP, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer and a member of its Operating Committee. Bradley A. Batten, who previously held the role, is retiring.


Mergers and Acquisitions:

Sycamore Partners has agreed to acquire teen retailer Hot Topic, which will soon operate as a private company.


Industry Insight:

American Eagle Outfitters Inc. opened its first-ever store in the Philippines on March 1.

Barneys New York is slowly eliminating it’s more affordable contemporary branch, Barneys Co-Op. Two of the biggest Co-Op locations, one on New York City’s Upper West Side and one at The Grove shopping center in Los Angeles, CA, will be renovated and rebranded as regular Barneys by this summer.

Casual Male Retail Group has changed its corporate name to Destination XL Group Inc. to reflect the company’s transition to its Destination XL retail stores and e-commerce website.

Chico’s announced plans to debut a new format, called Boston Proper, and to enter Canada in 2013.

Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. will debut a new retail concept this year, called Field & Stream. In addition to two planned Field & Stream stores, the company plans to open 40 Dick’s Sporting Goods stores, one Golf Galaxy store and two True Runner locations this year. The company also will partially remodel 75 existing Dick’s stores.

DSW Inc. has launched, a new website located at that offers top luxury brands at up to 50% off. The Luxe810 assortment includes shoes, handbags, jewelry, and other accessories for men and women. To support the launch, DSW is opening five Luxe810 Pop-Up Shops in key metropolitan locations, offering luxury accessories and ready-to-wear fashion for a limited-time only.

FGL Sports launched a new digital ‘lab’ Sport Chek store concept in Toronto. The 12,000 sq. ft. store will act as a springboard for brands such as Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Oakley and Samsung, to test new technologies out in a store setting.

Foot Locker Inc. will close its 22 skate wear CCS stores and plans to run the concept as a purely online business. The company, which also owns Champs and Footaction chains, also announced that it plans to add more stores in Europe and under its Kids Foot Locker chain this year. Foot Locker also expects to triple the number of remodels to more than 200 stores for its Champs and Foot Locker banners.

Gander Mountain is opening a firearms superstore in Reynoldsburg, OH. The Gander Mtn. Firearms Super Center is a new concept transforming the Gander Mountain store into a specialty retail outlet focused specifically on fulfilling the needs of firearms enthusiasts.

The Hudson’s Bay Company announced The Bay will now be known as Hudson’s Bay.

JCPenney announced that Canada’s Joe Fresh brand will launch in JCPenney stores beginning March 15, with a collection of modern basics for women. The collection will be displayed in 750 sq. ft. to 2,500 sq. ft. dedicated shops in nearly 700 stores. JCPenney also said it is rolling out an upscale fancy-dress line, Pearl by Georgina Chapman of Marchesa brand.

Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. will open a Denim & Supply store in New York this spring. The unit will be located at University Place and will mark it’s first-ever U.S. standalone location for the brand.

Saks Inc. has renovated its men’s store in Beverly Hills, CA. The four-level 54,000 sq. ft. store is located on Wilshire Boulevard.

The U.S. Postal Service has partnered with Wahconah Group Inc. to introduce a new line of apparel and accessories under the name “Rain Heat & Snow.”

Victoria’s Secret will open its first stores in Hong Kong this year.

Von Maur Department Stores announced it will open a 150,000 sq. ft. store at the Quail Springs Mall in Oklahoma City in fall 2014. The store will be the company’s first location in Oklahoma.


Real Estate:

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. will close 40 to 50 U.S. stores in 2013. The majority of the store closures will occur through natural lease expirations.

Aéropostale will open a new P.S. From Aéropostale store, connected to a new Aéropostale store, in South Bay Galleria in Los Angeles, CA. Both stores are expected to open in May 2013.

Bass Pro Shops is opening a new Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World store in San Jose, CA in 2015 at a shopping center planned for the northeast corner of Interstate 85 and Almaden Expressway.

Body Central said it will pare new store growth to 25 units in 2013 from 39 openings last year.

The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. announced that the company’s “Your Rewards” loyalty program was revamped and reintroduced.

Burberry has signed a lease for 301 N. Rodeo Dr. The Beverly Hills, CA flagship is scheduled to open in 2014, when Burberry plans to close its nearby location at 9560 Wilshire Blvd.

Cabela’s Inc. plans to open a 42,000 sq. ft. Cabela’s Outpost store in Waco, TX. Construction is scheduled to begin in the Central Texas Marketplace this spring and doors are expected to open this fall.

City Sports opened a new 9,200 sq. ft. store in Chestnut Hill, MA. A second new store, slated to be the retailer’s largest-ever unit at more than 10,500 sq. ft., will open in New York’s financial district in 2013.

Dick’s Sportings Goods opened a new store in the Holly Springs Towne Center in Holly Springs, NC.

Gap Inc. expects to open about 160 company-operated stores in fiscal 2013. The expansion plans include up to 35 new Athleta stores in North America, as well as up to 20 Old Navy stores in Japan and 35 namesake stores in China.

Golf & Tennis Pro Shop, Inc. will open its second PGA Tour Superstore store on the West Coast, a 50,000 sq. ft. location in Irvine, CA, later this year.

H&M has announced 10 new locations, including the Roosevelt Collection in Chicago, IL, Union Station and The Shops at Georgetown Park in Washington, DC, the French Quarter in New Orleans, LA, City Place in West Palm Beach, FL, and the Waikiki Business Plaza in Honolulu, HI.

Kohl’s reported grand openings of nine new stores in seven states, bringing the retailer’s total store count to 1,155. Stores open Wednesday in Decatur, AL, Danville, IL, Ames, IA, Cedar Rapids, IA, Minot, ND, Sherwood, OR, Hermitage, PA, Spring Township, PA, and Denton, TX. The chain also announced it will remodel 30 locations in 2013.

Lane Bryant has opened a new 7,835 sq. ft. flagship store in New York City.

Nordstrom Inc. plans to double its Nordstrom Rack portfolio to more than 230 stores over the next four years, with plans to open a projected 24 new stores for 2013. Planned store locations for this year include: Ann Arbor and Auburn Hills, MI, Birmingham, AL, Boston, MA, Columbia, MD, South Portland, ME, Concord, Culver City and Upland, CA, Washington, DC, Atlanta, GA, Cleveland and Columbus, OH, El Paso, TX and Honolulu, HI. The company also will enter the Canadian market for the first time, with a new store in 2014.

Saks Inc. plans to close its Saks Fifth Avenue store located in Stamford Town Center in Stamford, CT in early 2014.


Green Initiatives:

Hanes has received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s highly coveted Energy Star Sustained Excellence Award for 2013. The award is the company’s fourth consecutive year of Energy Star recognition and its second consecutive year as a recipient of the Sustained Excellence Award, which is given to a select group of organizations that have exhibited outstanding sustainability leadership year after year.