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  • INDUSTRY NEWS

    • On November 12, 2019, it was reported, Pier 1 has named Robert Riesbeck permanent CEO and director of the company. Riesbeck succeeds Cheryl Bachelder, who has been serving in the role in the interim since last December. Bachelder will remain on Pier 1's board. Riesbeck, who has been with the company since July as its CFO, will also remain in the chief finance position, according to a company press release. Prior to Pier 1, Riesbeck served in executive roles at FullBeauty, H.H. Gregg and private equity firm Sun Capital Partners. Pier 1 also announced the appointment of Donna Colaco as president. Colaco succeeds Douglas Diemoz, the former CEO of Crate and Barrel, who left for undisclosed reasons
    • On November 12, 2019, Le Tote said it closed on its acquisition of Lord & Taylor, and named its Chief Merchandising Officer, Ruth Hartman, to the role of president of the department store. The deal was previously said to be for 99.5 million Canadian dollars in cash (USD$75 million at the time) and a secured promissory note for $33.2 million payable in cash after two years. Hartman has more than 30 years of retail experience, including previous executive positions at Macy's and DSW, according to a company press release. Brian Hoke will remain as Lord & Taylor's chief merchandising officer, and Robert Wehrle will continue as senior vice president of stores. Bari Harlam, chief marketing officer at former Lord & Taylor owner HBC, and Nick Cavallaro, a corporate development executive there, are joining Le Tote's board.
    • On November 12, 2019, it was reported, Walgreens is considering a potential private equity buyout that would take the drugstore retailer private, according to reports in Reuters, Bloomberg and CNBC that cited anonymous sources. The company did not respond to Retail Dive's request for comment. Given Walgreens market cap of roughly $55 billion, a private equity deal for the company would be the largest leveraged buyout in history, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Among the firms reportedly interested is KKR & Co., a private equity firm that in the past has acquired National Vision and Dollar General, and was part of a buyer group that acquired Toys R Us. Some private equity firms have voiced skepticism around a Walgreens buyout, concerned about financing and the deal's feasibility, according to Bloomberg and Reute
    • On November 12, 2019, it was reported, Amish case goods manufacturer Fusion Designs has purchased Amish case goods manufacturer Borkholder Furniture from kitchen and bath cabinet producer Kountry Wood Products for an undisclosed price. Fusion Designs will assume management of all Borkholder's operations on Jan. 1, 2020, and Borkholder will complete all in-house orders until the end of the year, officials said. Both companies are based in Elkhart County, Indiana. Goshen, Ind.-based Fusion Designs was launched in 1993 by Noah and Margaret Bontrager and remains family-owned and -operated. It specializes in solid wood dining room, bedroom, occasional and entertainment furniture, which is built and finished in its 75,000-square-foot plant in Goshen. Nappanee, Ind.-based Borkholder was started by Freemon Borkholder in 1982 and was acquired by Ola Yoder, the owner of kitchen and bath cabinet maker Kountry Wood Products in 2011. Some of the product is built in Kountry Wood Products' manufacturing facilities in Nappanee, and some of the line continues to be made by a number of Amish workshops in the region.