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  • INDUSTRY NEWS

    • On October 17, 2014, it was reported, former Talbots and Bloomingdales executive Lisa Gavales was named president and CEO of personalized gift retailer Things Remembered where she plans to further evolve the retailer's omnichannel offering.
    • On October 16, 2014, it was reported, in a surprise announcement, Signet Jewelers Ltd., the largest jewelry retailer in the U.S., U.K. and Canada, said that its president and COO, Mark Light, will take over as CEO on Nov. 1. He will replace Signet's current chief, Michael Barnes, who is resigning from his position and from Signet's board of directors to "pursue opportunities closer to his home in Dallas," effective Oct. 31. Barnes joined Signet in 2010 as CEO designate, taking the reins of the company in January 2011. He spearheaded Signet's acquisition of smaller rival Zale Corp in February 2014.
    • On October 15, 2014, it was reported, private equity firm Brentwood Associates apparently has acquired a stake in Top 100 company Z Gallerie, providing financial backing with an eye on expanding both its physical store and online businesses. In a release, the Los Angeles-based Brentwood described itself as "a leading consumer-focused private equity investment firm" and said it had "partnered" with Gardena, Calif.-based Z Gallerie, but it did not disclose exactly how it had partnered with the 55-store retailer or the disclose the terms. In the release, the firm said it was represented by Greenberg Traurig, LLP on the transaction and Kirkland & Ellis LLP on the debt financing. It also said KKR's credit business and KeyBanc Capital Markets provided debt financing supporting the acquisition
    • On October 15, 2014, officials with Li & Fung, the owner of case goods resource Whalen Furniture, have confirmed that company President Kenneth J. Whalen died on Sept. 28. The company did not release additional information regarding the death of the executive, who was in his late 40s. Hong Kong-based Li & Fung, which purchased Whalen Furniture in mid-2013, declined further comment. "We are refraining from making any public statements at this time out of respect for the obvious difficulty his family is facing at this time and their desire to honor him with their own memorial statements," said Lale Kesebi, a spokesperson for Li & Fung. The company will dedicate its regular High Point Market party to honor Kenneth Whalen's memory and celebrate his love of music and entertaining his customers. The party will take place starting around 6:30 p.m. Sunday at the company's showroom at 460 S. Main St. and will feature food, drink and live music.