Personnel Updates:

Abercrombie & Fitch named Christos Angelides as President of the Abercrombie & Fitch and Abercrombie kids brands.

Alex and Ani announced it has strengthened its senior management team with the addition of six individuals. Jayne Fitzpatrick-Conway was named CFO. She replaces David Rozen. Wendy Duncan was named Senior VP of Marketing, Tarik Chaudhary was named Senior VP of Information Technology, Igor Bekker was named VP of E-Commerce, Mary Beth Schneider was named VP and Deputy General Counsel, Corporate Operations, Jane Danek was named VP and Deputy General Counsel, Finance and Compliance and Jeff Thomas was named Senior Director of Human Resources.

Bebe Stores announced CEO Steve Birkhold has resigned. Jim Wiggett was named Interim CEO.

Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse Corp. announced that Thomas A. Kingsbury, the company’s CEO and President, has been elected as Chairman of the board.

Claire’s Stores Inc. announced Linda Filler, President of North America division, has resigned.

Delia’s announced that its CFO, David Dick, will resign Aug. 1.

Destination XL Group Inc. appointed Peter H. Stratton, Jr. to the position of Senior VP, CFO and Treasurer. Stratton replaces John E. Kyees, who was serving as Interim CFO.

L.L. Bean announced Chris McCormick, President and CEO, is planning to step down in 2016.

Lululemon Athletica Inc. announced that CFO John Currie will retire by the end of the fiscal year.

Nordstrom, Inc. announced that Erik Nordstrom and Jamie Nordstrom are exchanging roles. Erik Nordstrom will now be President of Nordstrom Direct. Jamie Nordstrom, will now be President of Stores.

Spanx, Inc. has named Jan Singer as CEO.

Stein Mart Inc. has appointed Sara Meza as Director of E-commerce.

Vera Bradley has named Angel Ilagan as Exec VP, Chief Marketing Officer.

Wolverine Worldwide announced organizational changes to its senior leadership team. James D. Zwiers has been appointed President of the International Group, James A. Gabel will succeed Mr. Zwiers as President of the Performance Group, which is comprised of the Merrell, Saucony, Chaco, Cushe and Patagonia Footwear brands. Andrew Simister was appointed President of the Lifestyle Group, which is comprised of Sperry Top-Sider, Hush Puppies, Keds and the Stride Rite Children’s Group.


Mergers and Acquisitions:

Signet Jewelers Ltd. has completed its acquisition of Zale Corporation. Signet now operates over 3,600 locations under the retail banners of Kay, Jared, and Zales in the United States; H.Samuel and Ernest Jones in the United Kingdom; and People’s in Canada. Signet also now operates kiosks in the United States under the Piercing Pagoda banner.

Industry Insight:

American Eagle Outfitters plans to open stores in the UK.

Boutique Jacob said it will liquidate its inventory and close all 92 stores.

Dress Barn closed its 7,500 sq. ft. Derby Marketplace location in Derby, KS.

Express Inc. has entered into a franchise agreement to bring the Express brand to South Africa.

Foot Locker Inc. is introducing Eastbay Performance Zone at Champs Sports. Select stores are dedicating approximately 150 sq. ft. for the Eastbay Performance Zone.

J. Crew is expanding into Asia, and opened two new stores in Hong Kong on May 21. The retailer plans to open five or six stores in Hong Kong in the next few years, and may also open new stores in Japan.


Real Estate:

American Eagle Outfitters Inc. announced plans to close 150 stores. The store closures, which will be concentrated in America, will include 100 namesake stores. This year, the company said it will close approximately 50 American Eagle and 20 aerie stores in North America.

Bass Pro Shops announced plans for a new store that will anchor Celebration Pointe in Gainesville, FL. The 80,000 sq. ft. store is slated to open in 2016.

Cabela’s Inc. plans to open new stores in three new markets: Huntsville, AL, Oklahoma City, OK, and Woodbury, NY. Construction on the 80,000 sq. ft. Huntsville store is scheduled to begin this fall. The 80,000 sq. ft. Oklahoma City store is scheduled to open in fall 2015. The 90,000 sq. ft. Woodbury store is scheduled to open in spring 2016.

L.L.Bean announced it will open a new store in Burlington, VT. The 18,290 sq. ft. store is slated to open in late October.

Macy’s announced an agreement for Macy’s to anchor the new Ka Makana Ali‘i in Kapolei in West O‘ahu, HI. Current plans call for the 103,000 sq. ft., one-level store to open in mid-2016.

Nordstrom, Inc. announced plans to open a Nordstrom Rack at Boulevard Consumer Square in Buffalo, NY. The approximately 35,000 sq. ft. store is scheduled to open in fall 2015.

Ross plans to open a new 35,000 sq. ft. store at Ballard Blocks shopping center in Seattle, WA next year.

Ross Stores Inc. is opening a new 22,000 sq. ft. dd’s Discounts location in San Mateo, TX.

Saks Inc. is planning to close its downtown Minneapolis Saks Off 5th store in January 2015.

Saks Inc. announced plans to open a new 40,000 sq. ft. OFF 5TH store in San Diego, CA and a 22,000 sq. ft. OFF 5TH store in Somerville, MA.

Sears Holdings plans to close at least 80 stores this year.

Zumiez intends to open approximately 55 stores in fiscal 2014, including up to seven locations in Canada and five in Europe.


Technology News:

Town Shoes Ltd. will upgrade its POS and merchandising systems with the Jesta I.S. Vision solutions.