Personnel Updates

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. announced its COO Jonathan Ramsden is resigning from the company.

Academy Sports & Outdoors named Thomas Lamb as Exec VP, Chief Marketing Officer.

Chico’s FAS Inc. announced Miki Berardelli, President Digital Commerce and Chief Marketing Officer, will be leaving the company. Her primary responsibilities will be assumed by the company’s brand presidents.

Claire’s Stores Inc. announced CEO Beatrice Lafon has resigned. Ron Marshall was named the company’s new CEO.

Coach Inc. announced a series of management changes and corporate job reductions, and announced that President and COO Gebhard Rainer and Global Marketing President David Duplantis would leave the company. Andre Cohen is being promoted to president, North America Marketing. Todd Kahn is being promoted to President, Chief Administrative Officer and Secretary.

Finish Line Inc. announced that John Hall has joined the company as Exec VP, Divisional President and Chief Merchandising Officer.

Gordmans Stores has appointed Michael F. Ricart as Senior VP Stores.

Hudson’s Bay Co. moved executives around as it incorporates the management team of Gilt Groupe Inc. Steve Jacobs was named Senior VP of Digital Technology. Aaron Shockey is now Senior VP of Marketing for Gilt and Saks Off 5th. Kristen Sosa’s role as Chief Merchant was expanded to include Gilt and Saks Off 5th.

Kit and Ace announced that Wendy Bennison has been named President of the company.

ModCloth, Inc. announced the appointment of Phil Neri as the company’s new CFO.

Nordstrom Inc. announced it will cut up to 400 jobs by the end of the second quarter. Most of the cuts will come at the upscale department store’s corporate headquarters and regional support teams.

Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. announced Valerie Hermann has been promoted to the expanded role of Global Brand President for Luxury, Women’s Collections and Accessories. Christine Beauchamp, Global Brand President for Lauren and Chaps, has left the company. Fredrik Hjalmers has joined the company as Corporate Senior VP for Global Expansion and Business Development. President of Global Brands Chris Peterson has resigned.

Tiffany & Co. has enlisted Grace Coddington as a new Creative Director.

Under Armour Inc. announced its Chief Merchandising Officer Henry Stafford and Chief Digital Officer Robin Thurston are leaving the company effective this July.


Financial Focus

The Sports Authority Inc., after filing for Chapter 11 in March, has chosen to sell off its assets, ending its quest to reorganize. It’s possible that all of its stores could be liquidated.


Industry Insight

David’s Bridal is partnering with Diltex, a leading manufacturer and retailer of intimate apparel in Mexico, to open its first franchise location, in Mexico City. The store is expected to open by the end of 2016 with additional franchise locations planned to open over the next five years across the country.

Hudson’s Bay Company will open a new omnichannel fulfillment center in Pottsville, PA. The center, opening in July, will run robotic retail technology that HBC says is approximately three-times faster than the typical technology utilized in e-commerce DCs The retailer plans to open the 450,000 sq. ft. facility through a phased approach, expanding to 617,500 sq. ft. by January 2017.

JCPenney Company, Inc. recently announced plans to open 60 new Sephora in-store shops. Nearly half of the new locations will debut on April 29, with the majority slated to open by June 17. The company also announced a major expansion into home appliances, as well as two new tests in the home area, involving Ashley Furniture and Empire Today.  It will add an appliance showroom online and to nearly 500 of its stores, starting in early July.

Sierra Trading Post is accelerating store expansion and could become a new growth driver for TJX Cos.


Real Estate

Aéropostale Inc. is seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and closing 20 percent of its stores in North America. The company is closing 113 of its U.S. stores and all 41 locations in Canada.

Scoop NYC is in the process of closing all of its stores.

Sears Holdings announced that it will close 68 Kmart and 10 Sears stores this summer.

Sport Chalet announced plans to close all of its stores.

Urban Outfitters Inc. announced it will open a 10,000 sq. ft. Anthropologie flagship store at the Mall of America later this year.


Technology News

Barneys New York is utilizing the Relevance Cloud personalization platform from RichRelevance to deliver personalized editorial content to customer mobile devices and also help associates provide better customer service via a clienteling app. The retailer is integrating in-store beacon technology with the platform to share targeted content such as videos, lookbooks and designer interviews from its editorial site The Window with shoppers as they move about the store.

True Religion Apparel Inc. is partnering with Aptos Inc. and Formula 3 Group to enhance and extend the functionality of its associate-facing Apple Watch “Band” app which offers real-time access to the retailer’s full inventory selection from the store, along with intuitive search capability.


Green Initiatives

Macy’s Inc. has launched a program to install solar electric power systems at 28 California stores through a partnership with SunPower.