Personnel Updates

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. hired Aaron Levine as VP of Men’s Design and Katia Kuethe as a new Creative Director.

Aeropostale Inc. announced that its Exec VP Merchandising, Emilia Fabricant, is leaving the company. The retailer said there are no plans to seek a replacement for Ms. Fabricant at this time.

American Apparel announced it has appointed Brian McHale as Senior VP and CIO.

The Donna Karan Company LLC announced Donna Karan, Founder and Chief Designer, is leaving the company.

eBags Inc. appointed Mike Edwards as President, CEO.

Express Inc. has named Perry Pericleous as Senior VP, CFO and Treasurer. He succeeds Paul Dascoli, who has left the company.

J.Crew Group Inc. announced Somsack Sikhounmuong has been named Head of Women’s Design for the J.Crew brand and Joyce Lee has been named Head of Women’s Design for Madewell. The company also announced it plans a reduction of approximately 175 full time positions primarily from its corporate headquarters.

Lands’ End Inc. announced that Joseph Boitano has joined the company as Exec VP, Chief Merchandising and Design Officer, Scott Hyatt as Exec VP, Chief Supply Chain Officer, and Ian Velardi as a Design Director.

Lululemon Athletica has named Miguel Almeida as Exec VP Digital.

The Men’s Wearhouse Inc. has named Bruce K. Thorn Exec VP and COO.

Nike Chairman Phil Knight has announced plans to step down.

Rent the Runway has hired Chris Halkyard as the company’s first Chief Logistics Officer.

Sears Canada announced its CEO Ronald Boire will leave the company to join Barnes & Noble Inc.

Sears announced that Joelle Maher has joined the company as President and Chief Member Officer.


Financial Focus

Bebe Stores Inc. announced Manny Mashouf, Founder and Chairman, intends to gradually sell off his 59% majority ownership stake in the company.


Industry Insight

Champs Sports is collaborating with Under Armour to launch The Armoury at Champs Sports stores. The store-within-a-store will feature Under Armour’s footwear, apparel and accessories along with special access to exclusive Under Armour products and athlete appearances.

Dick’s Sporting Goods is opening a combination store format. The retailer opened its first “All-American Sports Center” on July 23 at McGowin Park in Mobile, AL. The concept features a Dick’s Sporting Goods and a Field & Stream store in one location under the same roof.

Dick’s Sporting Goods is launching Chelsea Collective, a women’s specialty fitness and lifestyle boutique. The first two Chelsea Collective locations will open in August 2015 in Tysons Corner, VA, at Tysons Corner Center and in Pittsburgh, PA at Ross Park Mall.

Fabletics will open its first bricks-and-mortar stores this fall at Bridgewater Commons in Bridgewater, NJ; Christiana Mall in Wilmington, DE;  Kenwood Towne Centre in Cincinnati, OH; The Mall in Columbia in Columbia, MD; and Saint Louis Galleria in St. Louis, MO.

Gap Inc. will take over the FAO Schwartz Times Square flagship location in 2017. The store, which is located at 1514 Broadway, will house both the Gap and Old Navy brands. The stores will each span approximately 31,000 sq. ft. and feature separate entrances.

Hudson’s Bay Co. will acquire the number one German department store, Kaufhof. The acquisition includes 464 locations in four countries with eight leading banners.

Jared The Galleria of Jewelry has devoted an entire store to one of its product brands. The new store, Le Vian by Jared, is located at the Roosevelt Field Mall, Garden City, New York, and features the full Le Vian product line, from jewelry and timepieces to handbags and scarves. The space features curated in-store boutiques devoted to the individual product categories.

J.Crew Group Inc. is launching a new initiative, J.Crew Mercantile. J.Crew Mercantile stores will feature a collection of value-driven merchandise with classic J.Crew style for women, men and children. Once only available in J.Crew Factory stores, the collection is designed exclusively for J.Crew Factory and now J.Crew Mercantile. The first J.Crew Mercantile location is planned to open in late July at The Shops at Park Lane in Dallas, TX.

Men’s Wearhouse announced it has signed a 10-year agreement with Macy’s to operate men’s tuxedo rental shops inside 300 Macy’s locations. Men’s Wearhouse will begin operating 17 pilot tuxedo shops in fall 2015, and expects the remaining shops to be open by fall 2016. Macy’s and Men’s Wearhouse will also collaborate to develop a digital tuxedo rental shop on

Sears has launched a Connected Solutions flagship store in San Bruno, CA. Located at The Shops at Tanforan, the 4,000 sq. ft. store features a living room, kitchen, nursery, workout room, garage and outdoor area, so members can experience the benefits of smart technology firsthand. In addition to the new flagship store, Sears currently has three 2,000 sq. ft. Connected Solutions shops in the Chicago area and is expanding its Connected Solutions assortment to hundreds of Sears locations nationwide.

Shoe Carnival plans to launch a complementary, small-market store concept. The new format will be approximately 5,000 sq. ft. or half the size of a current Shoe Carnival store.

Stride Rite is launching its new “Built for Childhood” platform. The new platform marks an evolution in how the brand comes to market through key media touchpoints and more engaging e-commerce and in-store experiences. Other rebranding highlights include the launch of Surprize by Stride Rite at Target stores this month, and new formats and technologies, including in-store ordering, self-serve environment concept stores and real-time digital signage.


Real Estate

Barneys New York will open a new men’s store in San Francisco next spring and a new flagship in downtown Manhattan in 2017.

Bloomingdale’s has confirmed it will open one of its outlet stores this November in Philadelphia.The 22,700 square foot store will be located at the Shops at Liberty Place at 1625 Chestnut St. in Center City.

Cabela’s Inc. continues to expand in Canada with a new store in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Cabela’s expects construction on the 50,000 sq. ft. store to begin in 2016, and anticipates a 2017 opening. It will be located in the Dartmouth Crossing.

Eddie Bauer opened a new store at The Legacy Place shopping center in Dedham, MA on July 2.

Forever 21 announced the opening of its newest concept store, F21 red, at Tempe Marketplace, in Tempe, AZ. The 1,000 sq. ft. store will open this fall.

Gap will close approximately 175 specialty stores in North America over the next few years, with approximately 140 closures occurring this fiscal year.

James Avery has opened a new store at Baytown Plaza in Baytown, TX.

Nordstrom Inc. plans to open a full-line store in a new open-air retail promenade in Carlsbad, CA. The 124,000 sq. ft. store is scheduled to open in fall 2018. Nordstrom Inc. also plans to open a new 34,000 sq. ft. Nordstrom Rack at Waikiki Trade Center in Honolulu, HI in spring 2016.

Robert Graham will open new stores at Bellevue Square in Bellevue, WA, and the Shops at La Cantera in San Antonio, TX in August.

Ross Stores recently opened 19 Ross Dress for Less and eight dd’s DISCOUNTS stores across 15 different states in July. The 27 locations added this month include eight new stores in its newer Midwest markets of Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana and Kansas.

Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH announced plans to open a new 32,000 sq. ft. store at Christiana Fashion Center in Christiana, DE, in October.

Shoe Carnival is planning to open smaller stores to leverage untapped markets in smaller communities. The new format will be approximately 5,000 square feet, or half the size of a current Shoe Carnival store. Its current stores average about 10,000 square feet

Simons department store chains is planning to extend its brand across Canada. The company plans to enter British Columbia and Ontario, as well as expanding its presence in Alberta.


Technology News

Belk Inc. has launched a new wedding registry app. In addition to in-store kiosks, registrants can now set up a registry, manage their registry and scan items using their smartphones.