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Abercrombie & Fitch launches omni-channel spring campaign

BY Dan Berthiaume

New Albany, Ohio – Abercrombie & Fitch is launching a spring 2014 marketing campaign that includes omni-channel features such as live Twitter Q&A sessions with celebrities. The campaign, “The Making of a Star,” spotlights a select group of rising actors and musicians.

The cast includes Christa B. Allen (ABC’s "Revenge"), Diego Boneta ("Rock of Ages," "The Dead Men," "Another You," "Pele and Eden"), Kylie Bunbury (ABC Family’s "Twisted"), Colton Haynes (CW’s "Arrow"), Jazzlyn Marae (Nickelodeon’s "Fred: The Movie," ABC Family’s" Nine Lives of Chloe King"), Steven R. McQueen (CW’s "The Vampire Diaries "and upcoming Steve McQueen Documentary"), and Debby Ryan (Actress/Musician). Photographs and videos of each star, shot by photographer Bruce Weber, will be featured online, in the A&F app, and in A&F stores around the world.

Abercrombie & Fitch will host live Twitter Q&A sessions with Diego Boneta, Steven R. McQueen, and Debby Ryan throughout the season. Consumers can follow @abercrombie on Twitter and Instagram to be part of "The Making of a Star" campaign.

"A&F’s new Stars on the Rise are exceptional, multi-dimensional, and optimistic," said Craig Brommers, senior VP of marketing for Abercrombie & Fitch. "We’re excited to add a new cast to our long list of successful talent."

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Pet360 gives new VP of strategic partner development two paws up

BY CSA STAFF

Pet360, a leading network of digital resources for pet owners, has appointed Jon Roska as VP of strategic partner development.

In this role, Roska will oversee the development and execution of strategic programs that help brands connect with pet owners in new ways. Roska founded the company’s longest-standing Web property — PetFoodDirect.com — in 1997 and most recently served as Pet360’s VP of merchandising.

"With 17 years of experience in the pet food and supplies industry, few people know the space as well as Jon," said Rose Hamilton, EVP and chief marketing officer at Pet360. "His knowledge of the marketplace makes him the ideal collaborator for brands looking to educate consumers, increase sales and create loyalty."

"Our team specializes in identifying the best, most effective ways to connect and communicate with pet parents," states Andrew Zucker, chief media officer at Pet360. "In the months ahead, we’ll be leveraging our expertise to more closely integrate our ecommerce and media businesses and create programs that generate positive brand awareness and ultimately lead to an increase in product sales."

According to the company, its product promotions, new item introductions and consumer education have helped several of the pet industry’s leading brands increase sales and exceed new customer goals. Additional media services include high impact media, proprietary audience targeting technology, custom editorial solutions, digital advertising and event marketing.

Pet360 is an integrated media and e-commerce company devoted to everything related to pets. Its network is made up of more than 30 of the top pet websites and reaches more than 12 million pet owners a month. Its family of premium brands includes Pet360.com, petMD.com, PetFoodDirect.com and BlogPaws. The company is headquartered outside Philadelphia, Pa.

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Destination XL CFO resigns; board member named interim CFO

BY Dan Berthiaume

Canton, Mass. — Dennis Hernreich, executive VP, COO and CFO of Destination XL Group Inc., has resigned to pursue new challenges and board member John E. Kyees has been named interim CFO. In addition, the company has elected Will Mesdag, 60, to its board of directors.

Kyees, who has served on the Destination XL board of directors since 2010, was CFO of Urban Outfitters from 2003 until his retirement in 2010, and has served as a senior financial executive at several other prominent retailers. The company is conducting a search for a permanent CFO.

Mesdag’s election to the Destination XL board of directors expands the size of the board to 10 members. Mesdag will serve as a director until the company’s next annual meeting of stockholders, at which time he will stand for re-election. Mesdag is currently the managing partner of Red Mountain Capital Partners LLC, Destination XL Group’s largest shareholder, which owns approximately 9.5% of shares outstanding.

In addition, due to a 4% reduction in store traffic between Black Friday and Christmas as a result of poor weather, as well as due to sluggish consumer behavior and a shortened holiday selling season, Destination XL is lowering its guidance for the fourth quarter and full year 2013. Sales for fiscal 2013 are expected to approximate $388 million, compared with the company’s previous guidance of $395.0 million.

For the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2013, comparable sales are expected to increase approximately 3.9% and 2.9%, respectively, from the prior-year period. The increase in comparable sales for fiscal 2013 was previously expected to be approximately 5%. The company expects earnings per share for fiscal 2013 to be a net loss in the range of $(0.11) to $(0.13) per share, compared with previous guidance of a net loss of $(0.05) per share. The guidance excludes severance and post-employment benefits charges.

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