Personnel Updates:

Aeropostale announced current Exec VP and CFO Marc Miller will become the company’s new COO and filling his role as CFO will be David Dick.

Ascena Retail Group has appointed Robb Giammatteo to serve as CFO.

Belk Inc. has named Scott Kessler as CIO.

Bon-Ton Stores announced that Keith Plowman, CFO and Exec VP, will retire in August.

Dick’s Sporting Goods announced that in addition to serving as Exec VP and CFO, Andre J. Hawaux has been appointed as COO. Hawaux will now also oversee store operations, real estate and human resources.

DSW Inc. announced the promotion of several key executives. Carrie McDermott was appointed Exec VP and COO.  Bill Jordan was appointed Exec VP and Chief Administrative Officer.  Roger Rawlins was appointed Exec VP and Chief Innovation Officer.  Harris Mustafa was appointed Exec VP and Chief Supply Chain Officer.

Duluth Trading Company has promoted Stephanie Pugliese to President and CEO.  Steve Schlecht will continue as the company’s Executive Chairman.

The Finish Line announced that former Sears executive Imran Jooma has joined the company as Chief Omnichannel Officer and Exec VP.

Gap Inc. announced its Creative Director Rebecca Bay has left the company. The retailer also said that it has named Scott Key as Senior VP and General Manager of Customer Experience.

Lands’ End said its new CEO will be Federica Marchionni. She will succeed Edgar Huber, who resigned from the company.

Sears Canada has appointed Ronald Boire as its President and CEO, a position he has held on an interim basis since last October.

Zulily announced that CFO Marc Stolzman is leaving the company.


Financial Focus:

Cache Inc. is planning to liquidate the company after filing for bankruptcy.

Jones New York announced it is closing all of its stores, discontinuing its wholesale business and will look at strategic alternatives for its brand.


Mergers and Acquisitions:

Macy’s Inc. announced it will acquire beauty and skin-care chain Bluemercury Inc.

ShoeBuy has acquired a minority stake in Boston Boot Company. The complete Boston Boot Company product line will now be available at


Industry Insight:

Dress Barn will debut its new multichannel Dressbar concept on March 4, with in-store shops at 25 stores, a separate website and a pop-up shop in New York City highlighting the chain’s first designer collaborations.

Gap Inc. recently announced the decision to close its Piperlime brand, including the online platform and single store in New York, by the end of the first quarter of fiscal year 2015. The company will focus on its portfolio of five brands (Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Athleta and Intermix) as well as digital and global growth.

JCPenney Co. announced the “shop within a store” concept; tested beginning last year by Hallmark Cards, is likely to expand this year. The pilot project in 15 JCPenney stores around the country satisfied the department store chain, which expects to announce a larger rollout.

JCPenney Co. is bringing back its catalog. The new, 120-page book will feature items from Penney’s home department and will be sent to select customers in March, the first time the department store chain has sent out a catalog since 2010.

JCPenney is giving its hair salons a makeover. The retailer is collaborating with the editors of InStyle magazine in a licensing partnership that will change the name and look of its salons. All 850 JCP Salons will be called The Salon by InStyle by 2016.

Kate Spade & Co. is discontinuing Kate Spade Saturday as a standalone business. All store locations will be closed in a phased approach during the first half of 2015. The company will close its 12 Jack Spade stores during the first half of 2015.

Kohl’s announced buy online, pick up in store capabilities are being rolled out to all of its stores this spring after a successful 100 store pilot program during the holidays.

Lululemon Athletica will open its first stores in the Middle East. The first store is set to open in Dubai in fall 2015.

Macy’s Inc. plans to relocate its West Sacramento, CA, direct-to-consumer fulfillment center to a larger facility in a nearby location in Sacramento County to support continued sales growth driven by Macy’s omnichannel strategy. Macy’s will begin operations in summer 2015 at a 385,000 square foot facility, creating approximately 100 new jobs.

While House Black Market is launching an online wedding and event boutique.


Real Estate:

Academy Sports + Outdoors plans to open four stores in Florida on March 6. The new stores will be located in Kissimmee, Waterford, Lake Mary and Melbourne.

Carhartt announced plans to lease a three-story building at 5800 Cass Ave. in Detroit’s Midtown area. The new store will open in late May or early June.

Dick’s Sporting Goods announced it will open new stores in Goldsboro, NC and Boise, ID on February 20th.

Field & Stream will open a new store in Troy, MI. Located in Oakland Mall, the new store is scheduled to open in March 2015.

Forever 21 will open a flagship on New York’s Fifth Avenue. The five-level, 36,000 sq. ft. store will be located at 640 Fifth Ave., which is between 51st and 52nd streets.

Michael Kors opened its largest and most comprehensive location to date, a three-story, 22,000 sq. ft. flagship in the Soho section of Manhattan, NY.

Recreational Equipment Inc. will enter two new states in the fall, opening an REI store at the new Christiana Fashion Center, in Christiana, Delware, and another at the new Mills Crossing, in West Des Moines, Iowa. The retailer also announced plans to open a store in Virginia Beach, Virginia, at Pembroke Mall, in spring 2016.

Ross Dress for Less will open a new store in Gainesville, FL, on March 7. The new store will be located in Gainesville Plaza along N.W. 13th Street. The company also announced it will open its first Wisconsin store. The store will occupy 22,200 square feet at the West Allis Towne Center in West Allis.

Saks Fifth Avenue will open a new OFF 5TH location that will anchor Somerset Shoppes in Boca Raton, FL. The new 23,400 sq. ft. store is set to open in March 2015. The company also announced that it has signed a lease for a 40,321 sq. ft. Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH in the retail portion of Minneapolis City Center in downtown Minneapolis, slated to open April 2016.

Robert Graham will open its second branded retail store in New York in The Shops at Columbus Circle at Time Warner Center in spring 2015.

Topshop will open its first Atlanta location on March 12. The new 15,600 sq. ft. store will be located at Buckhead’s Lenox Square mall.

Urban Outfitters Inc. plans to relocate its Trenton, SC e-commerce fulfillment center to Gap, PA. Construction of the new one million-sq.-ft. fulfillment center is scheduled to be complete by July 2015.

Uniqlo announced it will open two flagship stores in Toronto, ON in the fall of 2016: a 24,000 square foot store at Yorkdale Shopping Centre and a 28,000 square foot store at the Toronto Eaton Centre.

Von Maur Department Store plans to open a 165,000 sq. ft. store at the Mall of Georgia in Buford in 2016.