Personnel Updates

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. announced it let go of another 150 employees at its New Albany, OH headquarters. The retailer also announced Will A. Smith as its new Chief Marketing Officer and has promoted Joanne Crevoiserat to COO and Fran Horowitz to CEO.

Barneys New York Inc. announced Mark Lee has been promoted to Executive Chairman. Daniella Vitale will succeed him as CEO.

Burlington Stores, Inc. promoted three executives. Jennifer Vecchio was promoted to the newly created role of Chief Merchandising Officer, Marc Katz was promoted to CFO and Fred Hand was promoted to the newly created role of Chief Customer Officer.

Charming Shoppes Inc. announced Linda Heasley has resigned as CEO.

Christopher & Banks Corporation announced LuAnn Via, President and CEO, has departed the company. She has been replaced by Joel Waller, who was appointed as Interim President, CEO. In addition, the company announced that Kent Kleeberger has been elected as board chairman.

Destination XL Group Inc. has named Sahal Laher as its Senior VP, Chief Digital and Information Officer. Mr. Laher was previously with Brooks Brothers Group, Inc.

Gap Inc. announced that Andi Owen, Brand President for Banana Republic, will leave the retailer in late February.

The Gymboree Corp. announced its CEO, Mark Breitbard, is stepping down once a successor has been named. He will assume the role of Chairman of the board.

Nordstrom Inc. announced that Dan Little, Nordstrom’s CIO, plans to retire next fall. Magali Muratore will take on interim leadership of the merchandising technology organization in addition to supporting the data & services team. Travis McElfresh will take on interim leadership of the digital technology organization in addition to supporting the engineering team. Steve Brewer will take on interim leadership of the stores & payments team.

Ralph Lauren Corp. announced CEO Stefan Larsson will leave the company May 1, 2017. Jane Nielsen, CFO, will assume the role until the company appoints a new CEO.

Sidney Thomas has appointed James M. Speltz as President. Additionally, the company announced the retirement of Exec VP and COO Robert Simone who will remain with the company through the second quarter of 2017.

Signet Jewelers Limited announced Sebastian Hobbs has been promoted to the newly-created role of President and Chief Customer Officer. Emma Hayward has been promoted to Executive Director of the U.K. Division. Bryan Morgan has been promoted to COO. He is replacing Ed Hrabak, who is retiring. The company also announced the retirement of Tryna Kochanek, Exec VP Store Operations.

Stein Mart Inc. announced that MaryAnne Morin is joining the company as President. She was previously with Hudson’s Bay Company. In addition, Stein Mart announced that Interim CEO D. Hunt Hawkins has been named permanent CEO.

Tiffany & Co has appointed Reed Krakoff to the newly created position of Chief Artistic Officer. The company also announced Frederic Cumenal has stepped down as CEO. Michael Kowalski will serve as interim CEO.


Financial Focus

Eastern Outfitters, the company behind the Eastern Mountain Sports Inc. and Bob’s Stores Inc. chains, has filed for chapter 11 protection.

The J. Jill Group Inc. announced that it has filed for an initial public offering of its common stock.

Limited Stores, LLC announced it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after closing all of its stores.

Wet Seal Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and is closing all its stores, along with its headquarters in Irvine, CA. Store-closing sales will run through February 28.


Mergers and Acquisitions

Finish Line Inc. has sold its JackRabbit specialty running store division to CriticalPoint Capital LLC, a Los Angeles-based private investment firm.

Luxottica North America announced it will merge with lens-maker Essilor International of France in a deal valued at $49 billion. The combined entity will be called EssilorLuxottica.

Nine West Holdings, Inc. has entered into an agreement to purchase the Kasper Group.


Industry Insight

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. is reintroducing its Gilly Hicks line of intimates, loungewear and swimwear. The line can now be purchased in all of Hollister’s U.S. stores and globally online. The retailer plans to open Gilly in-store shops in selection Hollister locations.

Eloquii Design Inc. plans to test a physical store. The 2,600 sq. ft. concept shop will open in Arlington, VA in March.

JCPenney Company, Inc. has teamed up with Nike Inc. to open branded in-store shops in more than 600 JCPenney locations across the country.

Lululemon Athletica Inc. has opened a flagship store on Regent Street in London. The two-level, 6,300 sq. ft. store is the retailer’s second largest in the world, second only to its New York City flagship.

The Neiman Marcus Group has recently introduced plus-sized women’s departments to five of its Last Call stores.

Nike Inc. opened a new store in Miami Beach, FL in an experiential retail format. The two-story, 31,000 sq. ft. store is designed to deliver Nike products and personalized digitally connected services.


Real Estate

BCBG Max Azria Group North America announced it is closing about 120 stores, primarily in the U.S.

Golf & Tennis Pro Shop Inc. has opened a PGA Tour Superstore in Glendale, AZ. The retailer announced two more locations are in the works for 2017, with one in Hilton Head, SC, and another in Jacksonville, FL.

The Neiman Marcus Group has opened a new 95,000 sq. ft. location in Fort Worth, TX.

Nordstrom Inc. announced plans to open a Nordstrom Rack at Mellody Farm in Vernon Hills, IL. The approximately 30,000 sq. ft. store is scheduled to open in fall 2018. The retailer will also open an approximately 27,000 sq. ft. Nordstrom Rack store in downtown Los Angeles in fall 2017.

Payless ShoeSource Inc. announced it expects to close nearly 1,000 stores.

Victoria’s Secret Stores announced plans to open 30 stores across the UK.

Warby Parker announced plans to open at least 25 stores this year. New locations are planned for Miami, Philadelphia and Los Angeles among other cities.