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  • INDUSTRY NEWS

    • On April 16, 2014, it was reported, Online home furnishings retailer Hayneedle has promoted Jon Barker to CEO. Formerly president of the Omaha, Neb.-based company, Barker has more than 25 years of multi-channel retail experience, including five years as Hayneedle's chief operating officer. He replaces Doug Nielsen, "whose entrepreneurship has been the catalyst behind Hayneedle's industry leading position," the company said in a release.
    • On April 16, 2014, it was reported, Lifetime Brands has purchased the business and assets of Empire Silver Company. Empire Silver, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based, privately held company founded in 1941, offers sterling and pewter gift products manufactured in the United States. Lifetime Brands will continue to manufacture and market Empire Silver's products under its Wallace Silver division.
    • On April 15, 2014, it was reported, Aaron's Inc. has acquired Progressive Finance Holdings LLC, a merchandise lease-to-own company, from Summit Partners in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $700 million. Aaron's expects the transaction to be double-digit accretive to cash earnings per share in 2014 and significantly more accretive in 2015. Through this acquisition, Aaron's gains an entry point into the virtual rent-to-own ("RTO") market and will operate Progressive as a wholly owned subsidiary of Aaron's. John Robinson, Progressive's CEO, will join the Aaron's executive leadership team as executive VP and CEO of Progressive, reporting directly to Ronald W. Allen, CEO of Aaron's.
    • On April 15, 2014, it was reported, DSW will spend about $62 million to establish an operating base in Canada, acquiring a 44 percent stake in the footwear and accessories retailer Town Shoes. The Columbus, Ohio, company said Tuesday that it will have the right to purchase the rest of Town Shoes after four years. Town runs 182 locations across Canada, mainly under the banners The Shoe Company, Shoe Warehouse and Town Shoes. It is owned mainly by Alberta Investment Management Corp. and Callisto Capital, a Canadian private equity firm.