Personnel Updates:

Aeropostale, Inc. announced that Julian R. Geiger has rejoined the company as CEO.

Coach, Inc. announced the appointment of Gebhard Rainer, as President and COO.

Crocs has appointed footwear industry and product merchant leader Michelle Poole as Senior VP of Global Merchandising, a newly created role.

Danier Leather announced that Thomas Haig has been appointed as interim COO.

Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. announced Joseph Schmidt is retiring as President and COO at year-end. John Duken, Exec VP Merchandising, informed the company he plans to retire at the end of November. The company also said it has promoted Lee Belitsky to Exec VP, Product Development and Planning, Allocation and Replenishment.

Dillard’s announced James Freeman, Senior VP and CFO, has retired.

Gordmans Stores, Inc. named Andrew T. Hall as President and CEO.

Hudson’s Bay has appointed John Caplice to the position of Senior VP, Treasurer and Investor Relations. The company also appointed Lucas Evans as Senior VP, Corporate Development.

Maurices Inc. announced that Ali Wing has been named Chief Marketing Officer, Exec VP of Digital Commerce.

Michael Kors has named Pascale Meyran as Senior VP, Chief Human Resources Officer, a newly created position.

New York & Company, Inc. announced that it has initiated a search for a new COO now that Laura Weil has resigned her position.

Nine West Holdings Inc. announced that Peggy Eskenasi has joined the company as Executive Chairman of Easy Spirit, NW Jewelry Group and Anne Klein. Kathy Nedorostek has chosen to step down as CEO of the Nine West Footwear Group.

Recreational Equipment Inc. announced Eric Artz will also take on the role of COO.

Tiffany & Co. has named Jill Beraud as an Exec VP. She will be responsible for global retail operations, as well as oversight of strategic store development and real estate.

The Children’s Place has appointed Robert Vill as Group VP of Finance.

Under Armour Inc. recently hired Rick Ton as the Director of Customer-Relationship Marketing and Loyalty.

Wet Seal Inc. said John D. Goodman resigned as CEO. Edmond Thomas was appointed to succeed Goodman.

Financial Focus:

Belk Inc. announced online sales grew 43% during the second quarter, prompting the company to make a major investment in its e-commerce and fulfillment capabilities.

Mergers and Acquisitions:

Private-equity investment firm Brentwood Associates has acquired Las Vegas-based Marshall Retail Group.

Industry Insight:

Belk Inc. announced its 515,000 sq. ft. existing e-commerce distribution and fulfillment center in Jonesville, SC is being expanded by 345,000 sq. ft.  The expansion is expected to be completed in January 2015.

Hudson’s Bay Co. will open its first U.S. luxury Saks Fifth Avenue and sister discount Off Fifth stores in Canada in the spring of 2016.

Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. plans to test smart apparel at the US Open.

Roger Stevens Menswear in downtown Milwaukee, WI announced it has closed after almost 40 years.

Sears Canada Inc. announced the opening of a new 240,000 sq. ft. fulfillment center located in Calgary, Alberta. The site will create approximately 200 new jobs.

Sports Authority has launched an exclusive yoga line called Bloom, which it says it created specifically for women who enjoy being connected to the outdoors.

Real Estate:

Cabela’s Inc. plans to open an 82,000 sq. ft. store in West Chester, OH. Construction is scheduled to begin this fall and Cabela’s expects to open the store in fall 2015. The new store will feature the retailer’s next-generation layout, designed to surround customers in an outdoor-like experience with a large mountain replica and museum-quality wildlife displays.

Destination XL Group Inc. plans to open 40 DXL stores this year. The 5,000 sq. ft. to 6,000-sq.-ft. stores will be located in select smaller markets and in markets where geographical considerations warrant an additional presence. The company also said it plans to close approximately 40 Casual Male XL and Rochester Clothing stores.

David’s Bridal announced the opening of a new location at 1892 Arden Way in Sacramento, CA on 9/12.

Dick’s Sporting Goods announced new store openings at Schulman Crossing in Garden City, KS, at Mayfaire Town Center in Wilmington, NC, and at Parkside in Frankfort, KY.The company also opened its newest Field & Stream store in Columbus, OH located at Easton Gateway.

DSW Inc. announced the opening of its first Yellow Box Footwear concept stores in California at the Westfield Topanga Mall and the Westfield Sherman Oaks shopping center. The company announced the opening of new stores in Eden Prairie, MN, Plattsburgh, NY and Fort Worth, TX on Sept. 10.

Gap Inc. opened its first Athleta location in Anne Arundel County, Maryland on August 20. The 4,280 sq. ft. store is located at Annapolis Harbour Center.

Golf Galaxy plans to open a new 35,000 sq. ft. store located at Parkside Town Commons in Cary, NC, and a 35,000 sq. ft. new store located at Castleton Square Pavilion in Castleton, IN. Both of the new stores are expected to open in fall 2014.

Nordstrom, Inc. announced plans to open a Nordstrom Rack at Springfield Town Center in Springfield, VA. The approximately 33,000 sq. ft. store is scheduled to open in spring 2015. The company also announced plans to open a Nordstrom Rack at Rockaway Commons in Rockaway, NJ. The approximately 38,785 sq. ft. store is scheduled to open in fall 2015.

Nordstrom Inc. announced plans to open a Nordstrom Rack at The Shops at Midtown Miami. The approximately 31,000 sq. ft. store is scheduled to open in spring 2015. The company also is opening a new Nordstrom store at St. Johns Town Center in Jacksonville, FL on Oct. 10, and two new Rack stores in West Palm Beach, FL on Oct. 8 and in Lake Brandon, FL on Oct. 24.

Stein Mart Inc. announced four store relocations and plans to open six new stores, adding 188,000 sq. ft. of new store space. The new stores are set to open by the end of this year in mostly open-air shopping centers in California, Florida, New Mexico and Virginia.

Tiffany & Co. plans to open 10 company-operated stores before the end of the year.

Wilsons Leather announced a new location at the Westfield Galleria in Roseville, CA.  The 4,512 square foot store is scheduled to open Oct. 1.

Technology News:

Nordstrom Inc. is partnering with Curalate to launch Like2Buy, a platform that will enable a more seamless shopping experience for its customers through Instagram.