Personnel Updates

American Apparel Inc. named Cynthia Erland as Director Marketing and Communications and Thoryn Stephens as its first Chief Digital Officer.

Columbia Sportswear Co. announced several members of the executive leadership team have been elevated to new roles: Bryan Timm has been elevated to President and COO, Peter Bragdon has been promoted to the new title of Exec VP, CAO and General Counsel, Tom Cusick has been promoted to the new title of Exec VP of Finance and CFO, Joe Boyle was appointed to the newly-created position of VP of Columbia Brand Merchandising & Design, and Mark Nenow was appointed to the newly-created position of President of the Sorel Brand.

Gander Mountain announced Jay Tibbets has joined the company as VP of Hardlines Merchandising.

Gap Inc. announced Wendi Goldman would join the company as its new Exec VP of Product Design and Development.

Kenneth Cole Productions Inc. named apparel industry veteran Marc Schneider as its new CEO.

Vestis Retail Group, which operates Bob’s Stores, Eastern Mountain Sports and Sport Chalet, named Susan J. Riley as CFO.


Mergers and Acquisitions

Running Specialty Group has acquired the Utah-based Striders running company, consisting of two locations and JackRabbit Sports, consisting of four locations in the New York City area.


Industry Insight

Ascena Retail Group Inc. announced it is discontinuing its Brothers brand at its Justice stores. Brothers had become part of more than 200 of the chain’s 1,000 stores.

Bealls Inc. is developing a specialty store concept, called Bunulu, which will debut by the end of 2015. The new banner, which already has its own website,, will target a younger demographic, and feature coastal-inspired active lifestyle apparel and accessories for both men and women. Bunulu will open three to five stores in the fall. Stores will average about 4,000 sq. ft.

Coach Inc. announced it will open its first Paris flagship, timed to coincide with the brand’s 75th anniversary. The store, located on the famed Rue Saint-Honoré, is expected to open this fall.

Frederick’s of Hollywood is reportedly closing at least 31 of its stores, including the flagship location in Los Angeles, as part of a broader re-engineering effort.

Under Armour has opened its first-ever digital headquarters, in downtown Austin, TX. The 35,000 sq. ft. “Connected Fitness” center employs more than 100 engineers, data scientists, designers, and product innovators.


Real Estate

Bloomingdale’s will open a 25,000 sq. ft. outlet store in the heart of Manhattan’s Upper West Side in fall 2015.

Bonobos announced plans to opens its largest location to date, in Manhattan’s Flatiron District. The 4,000 sq. ft. Guideshop is slated to open in June.

Boot Barn Inc. will open its newest store in Cypress, TX on March 6. The new 10,000 sq. ft. store will mark the company’s 30th store in Texas.

Cabela’s Inc. announced plans to open a store in Centerville, OH. Construction on the 70,000-sq.-ft. store is scheduled to begin in 2015, with a spring 2016 opening.

Carhartt Inc. plans to open a new 6,228 sq. ft. store in Wauwatosa, WI this summer.

Chico’s FAS Inc. said it would shut about 120 stores by 2017 and open fewer this year than last. Chico’s said it would close about 35 stores this fiscal year and open about 40.

Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. plans to open 54 new stores during fiscal 2015, including 45 namesake stores and nine Field & Stream stores. The company opened a new store on March 13th at East Cobb Crossing in Marietta, GA.

Gander Mountain opened a 52,000 sq. ft. store in Kaleen, TX, and a 45,600 sq. ft. store in Tulsa, OK on March 12.

Nordstrom said it plans to relocate its store at Westside Pavilion in Los Angeles, CA to a new site in Westfield Century City. The new 149,000 sq. ft. store is expected to open in 2017.

Ross Dress for Less opened two new Ross stores in Louisiana on March 7. The stores are located at Juban Crossing in Denham Springs, and Magnolia Marketplace in central New Orleans.

Rue21 Inc. recently opened its newest flagship in Cranberry Township, PA. The store is approximately 8,000 sq. ft.

Stein Mart is opening 11 new stores this year. The new stores include the opening of the first-ever San Francisco Bay area location in Cupertino, CA on March 12 and 10 additional stores opening in the fall.

Under Armour opened a 30,000 sq. ft. store at 600 N. Michigan Ave. in Chicago, IL.

Urban Outfitters announced that Anthropologie would be opening a 12,000 sq. ft. store in downtown Spokane, WA on the northwest corner of Main Avenue and Wall Street in River Park Square. The store will open in fall 2016.

VF Corp. announced it plans to open a total of 150 stores this year.

Vineyard Vines has opened a 3,000 sq. ft. store in Easton Town Center in Columbus, OH.


Technology News

Bergdorf Goodman has partnered with Borderfree, a provider of international cross-border e-commerce solutions, to open its website and sell to international shoppers with BFX, Borderfree’s new global e-commerce platform for retailers.

Neiman Marcus launched its own mobile payment system, integrating payment technology into its already successful store app. The NM Mobile Wallet is the first deployment of a mobile wallet capability created specifically for a retail card partner, enabling customers to quickly and easily make in-store purchases at Neiman Marcus Group stores without their physical credit card.