FINANCE

Abercrombie & Fitch responds to Engaged Capital board nominations

BY Dan Berthiaume

New Albany, Ohio — Abercrombie & Fitch Co. has confirmed that Engaged Capital, which it says owns approximately 0.58% of the outstanding shares of Abercrombie & Fitch, has submitted notice to nominate five candidates to stand for election to the Abercrombie & Fitch board of directors.

Recently, the board appointed three new independent directors: non-executive chairman Arthur C. Martinez, former chairman and CEO of Sears, Roebuck and Co., Terry Burman, former CEO of Signet Jewelers Ltd and Charles R. Perrin, former chairman and CEO of Avon Products, Inc. Among other governance changes, Abercrombie & Fitch said its board also separated the roles of chairman of the board and CEO, terminated the company’s shareholder rights plan, implemented majority voting in uncontested elections, established stock ownership guidelines for executive officers and directors, and established director resignation policies.

In addition, the company created the position of COO, as well as brand president positions to oversee the Abercrombie & Fitch and Abercrombie Kids brands, and the Hollister brand, respectively. These brand presidents will support succession planning.

"Abercrombie & Fitch is committed to continued engagement with its shareholders, including regarding corporate governance matters,” said Martinez. “This commitment has already resulted in the appointment of three new, highly experienced independent directors and the separation of the positions of CEO and chairman."

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Lowe’s renews partnership with Habitat for Humanity

BY CSA STAFF

Lowe’s is renewing its partnership with Habitat for Humanity International. A new five-year, $23.5 million donation will bring Lowe’s total contributions to more than $63 million since 2003 and is the company’s largest corporate donation to date.

Along with the funding, Lowe’s pledged the continued support of Lowe’s Heroes employee volunteers. In the past decade, Lowe’s employees have donated thousands of volunteer hours in support of Habitat’s work.

"Habitat for Humanity has created a remarkable legacy by building and strengthening communities across America and around the world," said Robert A. Niblock, Lowe’s chairman, president and CEO. "We have been honored to be a part of those projects over the past 10 years and are excited about the opportunity to broaden our reach and serve more families in the coming years."

As a primary supporter of Habitat’s Women Build program, Lowe’s helped launch National Women Build Week in 2008 and each year conducts hundreds of how-to clinics at stores to teach volunteers construction skills. Lowe’s also provides volunteer and funding support for Habitat’s disaster recovery and rebuilding programs, multicultural outreach and Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative.

"Lowe’s has been an integral part of Habitat’s work to strengthen families and revitalize communities nationwide," said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. "We’re so grateful to Lowe’s for its past support and renewed commitment, and we look forward to this exciting new chapter of our partnership."

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Hasbro gets ready for Scrabble tournament

BY CSA STAFF

Hasbro is getting ready to host the 2014 National School Scrabble Tournament, which will be held from April 26-27 at the company’s new Providence, R.I., facility, One Hasbro Place. Scrabble enthusiasts, in fourth through eighth grades, are invited to compete for the $10,000 top prize.

The National School Scrabble Tournament brings together contestants from across the U.S. and Canada. Students who compete in the tournament are generally members of a School Scrabble Club where they learn the rules of the game, practice their vocabulary and learn the benefits of teamwork. Parents, teachers and coaches can go to www.schoolscrabble.us to learn more about the event and to register students for the tournament. Registration costs $100 per team and will be open from now until April 11.

The final round of this year’s tournament will be broadcast live online using the innovative RFID Scrabble System from Mind Sports (International). The system utilizes custom built RFID technology and unique software that scans the board every 974 milliseconds to transmit the game to a livestream on the Web that showcases each teams tile rack, score breakdown as well as the ‘Best Word’ that each team can play at any given point.

Live commentary will accompany the broadcast and a live viewing party will be hosted on-site for those in attendance.

“We are thrilled to continue the tradition of the annual National School Scrabble Tournament,” says John Frascotti, CMO of Hasbro. “The School Scrabble Program has helped to inspire curiosity and learning among students, and we can’t wait to celebrate these students and provide them with an opportunity to show off their exceptional Scrabble skills in a game that is mentally and socially engaging, and fun.”

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