Personnel Updates

Ascena Retail Group named Brian Lynch as President and CEO of its Justice brand.

Citi Trends announced that Ed Anderson has retired as CEO. Jason Mazzola was named President and CEO. Additionally, Bruce Smith, the company’s Exec VP and CFO, has also become its COO.

Saks Fifth Avenue President Marigay McKee has stepped down after just over a year on the job. She will be replaced by Marc Metrick. The company also announced Tracy Margolies has returned as Chief Merchandising Officer.

JCPenney Co. Inc. announced Deb Berman, Chief Marketing Officer, has left the company.

Quiksilver USA announced that its CEO, Andy Mooney, has resigned. The company’s CFO, Richard Shields, has also resigned. Pierre Agnes has been promoted to CEO and added to the board of directors. In addition, Greg Healy has been promoted to President, and Bob McKnight has been appointed Chairman. Thomas Chambolle has been named as CFO.

Stuart Weitzman Inc. announced that Alyssa Mishcon has joined as President, Global Retail.


Financial Focus

TowerBrook Capital Partners L.P. has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase The J.Jill Group. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of this year.

The Ross Stores Inc. board of directors has approved a two-for-one stock split on June 11, 2015. The split will be paid in the form of a 100% stock dividend to stockholders of record as of April 22, 2015.

Simply Fashion Stores Ltd. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and said it plans to liquidate substantially all of its assets.


Mergers and Acquisitions

Dover Saddlery Inc. approved a merger agreement by Webster Capital. Following the transaction which is expected to close in the second quarter of fiscal 2015, the company will no longer be publicly held.


Industry Insight

Adidas has opened a new store.  Boston Marathon RunBase is a 2,000 sq. ft. space close to the finish line of the world-famous competition.

American Apparel Inc. has started laying off about 180 workers mostly in its manufacturing operations in Southern California.

American Eagle Outfitters announced plans to further expand its global retail presence with a series of licensed stores throughout Chile and Peru.

Brown Shoe Company is changing its name to Caleres. The Brown name, however, will live on in a new men’s footwear business called Brown Shoe Bootmakers that the company plans to launch in 2016.

Frederick’s of Hollywood Group Inc. has closed all of its 93 stores and will do business only online.

Joe Fresh clothing business will be offering a line of footwear under a global license agreement with Aldo Group. The shoes will be introduced in spring of 2016.  Aldo Group will debut a larger family footwear department in 54 Joe Fresh stores.

L.L. Bean will open four stores this year before accelerating growth with a goal of at least 100 by 2020.

New York & Company expects to open approximately three new New York & Company stores, between 11 and 15 new outlet stores, convert 9 New York & Company locations to new outlet stores, remodel about 10 existing stores and close about 30 stores in fiscal year 2015.

Sears Holdings Corp. has formed a joint venture with Simon Property Group whereby Simon will take ownership of 10 Sears stores in Simon malls and lease them back to Sears, who will continue operating Sears stores in the venture.


Real Estate

Boot Barn Holdings, Inc. opened a new 10,000 sq. ft. store on March 27 located at 3109 W. Highway 74 in Monroe, NC.

Cabela’s will open its newest Georgia store on May 13. The 72,000 sq. ft. store will be located at 350 Cobb Parkway in Fort Oglethorpe. Cabela’s will open a new 70,000-sq.-ft. store at 1880 McCallum Road in Abbotsford, BC in fall 2016.  The company also has announced plans to open stores in Moncton, New Brunswick, in summer 2015; Calgary, Alberta, in fall 2015; and Ottawa, Ontario, in spring 2016.

Dick’s Sporting Goods opened a new store on March 27th at Canyon Park West in Twin Falls, ID.

Famous Footwear opened new stores in Kennesaw and Alpharetta, GA. The Kennesaw location, which opened March 18, is located in the Town Center at Cobb Mall at 400 Ernest Barrett Pkwy. The Alpharetta store located in North Point Mall at 1000 North Point Circle opened April 8.

Hibbett Sports Inc. expects to open approximately 80 to 85 new stores during fiscal 2015. The retailer also is planning 10-15 store expansions and 15 to 20 closures.

Hot Topic Inc. has opened a new Torrid store in Chicago, IL. The 3,000 sq. ft. store is located at 7 N. State St.

James Avery has opened its newest store at North East Mall in Hurst, TX.

Kit and Ace plans to open a new store on July 30 at 315 N. Broadway in New York City, NY.

Macy’s Inc. recently announced that Bloomingdale’s plans to open a 150,000 sq. ft. location in fall 2018 in Norwalk, CT. New Bloomingdale’s stores are expected to open in fall 2015 in Ala Moana in Honolulu, HI, and in fall 2017 in the Mall at Miami Worldcenter in Miami, FL, and in Westfield Valley Fair Shopping Center in San Jose, CA.

Nasty Gal has opened its second physical store. The new store is located at 1254 Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, CA.

Nordstrom Inc. announced plans to open two new Nordstrom Rack stores in Pittsburgh, PA and Novi, MI in fall 2016.

Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th will open its first store in Los Angeles County, in the Beverly Connection shopping center in Los Angeles, CA. The new two-level, 27,000 sq.ft. store will be fashioned in an open, modular layout.

Tourneau has opened its third Manhattan location at Sixth Avenue and West 42nd Street.

Uniqlo plans to open stores in the Seattle, WA, and Denver, CO, areas this year along with a store at Faneuil Hall in Boston, MA and one in Chicago, IL. New stores in Toronto, ON and Washington, DC are planned for 2016.


Technology News

Foot Locker Inc. has launched its first smartphone mobile application for iOS and Android, along with 85 “Shoemoji” sneaker replica emoticons. The App features such functionalities as a release calendar that provides information on hot, new releases.

Neiman Marcus has developed an app that allows shoppers to scan inventory based on photos. “Snap. Find. Shop,” which was developed by Slyce, allows customers to search Neiman Marcus inventory based on every day inspiration. App users can simply snap an image of an item and will be instantly provided with all similar items that are currently available at If the customer is interested in the item, he or she will then be able to purchase the item at the exact moment.

The Walking Company has deployed Epicor Retail CRM 7.0 to support the launch of its new loyalty program, and Epicor Retail Clienteling to support improved store associate/customer engagement. The company is also rolling out the Epicor Retail Store Point of Sale solution across its retail stores. Leveraging mobile tablets, The Walking Company store associates will be able to have access to customer insights from previous interactions on the Web or in-store for improved customer engagement and a more personalized experience.