OPERATIONS

Aaron’s names new president and CEO

BY Staff Writer

Atlanta — Rent-to-own retailer Aaron’s said Wednesday it has appointed interim CEO Ronald W. Allen as its permanent president and CEO.

Allen served as chairman and CEO of Delta Air Lines from 1987 to 1997, and has been a member of the Aaron’s board since 1997.

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FINANCE

Limited’s Q4 profit plummets 21% on restructuring charge

BY Staff Writer

Columbus, Ohio — Limited Brands reported Wednesday that fourth quarter profit dropped 21% to $359.4 million, from $452.3 million in the year-ago period.

The parent to Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works and Henri Bendel was negatively impacted by a large restructuring charge for an asset write-down and closures of some of its La Senza lingerie stores. Last quarter’s profit decrease breaks a streak of four consecutive quarters of year-over-year profit increases.

Revenue rose to $3.52 billion from $3.46 billion, matching Wall Street expectations. Same-store sales increased 7%.

For the full year, Limited Brands reported a profit of $850.1 million, up from $804.8 million in fiscal 2010. Revenue rose 8% to $10.4 billion.

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News

Gap Inc. boosts creative talent with new hires

BY CSA STAFF

SAN FRANCISCO — Gap Inc. has named Jill Stanton to the newly-created role as creative advisor for Old Navy and Liz Meltzer as SVP Gap international merchandising.

“Boosting our already-strong creative talent is a key focus in 2012,” said Glenn Murphy, chairman and CEO of Gap Inc. “On the heels of Tracy Gardner coming back to Gap, we are thrilled that Jill Stanton will bring her talent and proven business experience as creative advisor to Old Navy to help us deliver consistently great product.”

Stanton will serve as a creative advisor to Old Navy, and will work with the design and merchandising teams to provide a fresh perspective and insights to the brand. Her career spans more than 25 years in apparel retail, starting with successful global retailers Next and Marks and Spencer. She has more than a decade of experience with Nike, ultimately serving as vice president of Global Apparel. In that role, she was responsible for the strategic direction of all functional areas associated with product design, production, and development of Nike Apparel globally.

Meltzer will oversee Gap’s international merchandising in Asia, Europe, and other key regions outside of North America as a key member of the Gap Global Creative Center in New York. She has more than 20 years of diverse product experience across multiple brands, countries and channels. She’s served as Uniqlo’s senior vice president of merchandising for the United States and Europe, and held senior-level merchandising positions at J.Crew and Calvin Klein.

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