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  • INDUSTRY NEWS

    • On September 17, 2014, it was reported, Toys "R" Us and specialty retailer Claire's have entered into a global partnership to open nearly 100 Claire's in-store shops in Toys "R" Us locations across Europe, along with 12 U.S. locations, by year-end. The shops will feature an assortment of jewelry, headbands, hair and fashion accessories, jewelry holders, legwear, seasonal items and more. The rollout follows a successful pilot program in Europe. Two Claire's in-shop locations in New York City will debut this week, with one in Toys "R" Us Times Square and the other in FAO Schwarz. (These larger shop locations will be the only stores to feature ear piercing services). The additional 10 locations in the United States are expected to be open by the end of October and will be located in Murrieta, California; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Jensen Beach, Florida; Florence, Kentucky; Waldorf, Maryland; Henderson, Nevada; Toledo, Ohio; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Philadelphia, and Houston.
    • On September 16, 2014, it was reported, Southern Motion has promoted Roger Bland to CEO in addition to his title of president at the motion upholstery company. The announcement was made by Guy Lipscomb, co-founder and continuing chairman of the Mississippi company, who had also been CEO. Bland joined Southern Motion six-and-a-half years ago as president after a 29-year career with Lane. Lipscomb "will continue to be actively involved in the business while leaving the day-to-day responsibilities to Roger and the senior management team," the company said in a release.
    • On September 16, 2014, Men's Wearhouse announced that its Board of Directors has named Mary Beth Blake as the Company's President and Chief Merchandising Officer, effective September 10, 2014. She was previously Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer. She will continue reporting to Doug Ewert, Men's Wearhouse CEO.
    • On September 16, 2014, it was reported, Hedge fund ESL Investments, of which Sears Holdings Corp. CEO Eddie Lampert is the founder, chairman, and CEO, is giving the retailer a $400 million loan secured by a first priority line on Sears-owned real estate, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The loan will come due at the end of the year, though that may be extended to February if there's no default. ESL's loan comes after credit agency Fitch cut the retailer's credit rating and warned that it may not have the cash to operate beyond 2016.