STORE SPACES

Animated mannequins steal show at Gaultier exhibit in New York

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Talking mannequins almost steal the show at the exhibition, “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk,” which opened recently at The Brooklyn Museum in New York City.

The exhibition, which spans Gaultier’s 30-plus-year career and runs until February 23, 2014, includes approximately 30 animated mannequins. The high-tech mannequins, designed and manufactured by Mannequins Jolicoeur International, Quebec, actually seem alive at first glance. Some laugh, some wink; others smile, whistle and speak — and it’s all done in such a realistic way that it makes visitors do a double-take. Gaultier himself is represented, warmly welcoming visitors in both French and English.

The animation effects are accomplished by a high-tech, high-definition audiovisual system that includes projecting facial images on to the mannequins. (For a video of the mannequins, click here.)

In addition to the 30 animated mannequins, the exhibit features another 110 mannequins (also from Jolicoeur) that, in their own way, also break new ground, from the use of multiple color finishes to skin tones that correspond exactly to the diverse ethnicities, a signature element of Gaultier’s runway shows.

The must-see exhibit was organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, in collaboration with Maison Jean Paul Gaultier, Paris.

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FINANCE

Edwin Watts Golf Shops enters Chapter 11; plans to sell company

BY Marianne Wilson

Fort Walton Beach, Fla. — Edwin Watts Golf Shops on Monday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Delaware, with the intention of selling the operating assets of the business.

The company, owned by private equity firm Sun Capital Partners, listed estimated liabilities and assets of $100 million to $500 million.

All parties involved hope to have a Court approved sale transaction closed before the end of the year. Pursuant to the transaction, a significant number of Edwin Watts stores are expected to continue operating. Final store counts have not yet been determined.

Edwin Watts president and CEO John Watson noted that the decline in the golf industry over the past five years has resulted in extremely sluggish consumer demand and that it experienced a particularly challenging first half of 2013 due to poor spring weather, the impact of Hurricane Sandy in the northeast and a poor Florida golf season. Year over year golf rounds were down nearly 15% in early 2013, according to the National Golf Foundation. These challenges, Watt said, have led to a further erosion of the company’s financial position during 2013.

Edwin Watts Edwin Watts operates 90 stores across 15 states. The bulk of its retail footprint is in the Southeast U.S., with 32 stores in Florida and 12 stores in Georgia.

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OPERATIONS

Dollar General names Vasos as COO; former Duane Reade exec joins team

BY Staff Writer

Goodlettsville, Tenn. — Dollar General on Monday named Todd Vasos as COO with responsibility for store operations, merchandising and supply chain. The company also said David D’Arezzo has joined the chain as executive VP and chief merchandising officer.

Vasos most recently was Dollar General’s VP and chief merchandising officer. Since joining the chain in 2008, he has implemented numerous merchandising initiatives key to Dollar General’s growth, the company stated. He served previously as executive VP and COO at Longs Drugs (the California-based drug store was chain acquired by CVS in 2008).

D’Arezzo brings more than 30 years of retail and consumer product company experience across merchandising and operations. Most recently, D’Arezzo served as executive VP and COO of Grocers Supply and previously served as senior VP and chief merchandising officer for Duane Reade

“The alignment of our organization across store operations, merchandising and supply chain with the promotion of Todd to COO and the addition of David will create an even stronger management team and position us well for future growth,” stated Rick Dreiling, Dollar General chairman and CEO. “Dollar General has strong management depth across the organization, which clearly understands our industry, our operations and our people. Now is the perfect time to strengthen that expertise with the addition of David to the team. Having personally experienced the impact he made at Duane Reade, I believe his vision, ability to drive results and deep experience across several industries will provide a unique perspective to Dollar General.”

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