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Banana Republic, Google Offers join Starbucks in jobs effort

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Seattle — Starbucks Coffee Co. said Tuesday that Google Offers and Banana Republic are joining with Starbucks and Opportunity Finance Network to support the Create Jobs for USA program.

The pair, which are the first businesses to join Starbucks in the initiative, will run special promotions and make donations in support of the program that is designed to raise money to put Americans back to work.

Google’s and Banana’s support value will be as high as $4 million. The fund already has raised more than $7.5 million and, with the two additions, about $80 in lending would be supported, enough to create or sustain more than 3,800 jobs, Starbucks said in a statement.

“We thank Google Offers and Banana Republic for their leadership and support of this job creation program that is already helping thousands of Americans get back to work during a time of continued high unemployment,” said Starbucks chairman, president and CEO Howard Schultz.

Starbucks and OFN teamed up to launch Create Jobs for USA last November to help address the jobs crisis. Contributions to the Create Jobs for USA program are pooled and awarded as loans to help create and sustain jobs in underserved communities throughout the country.

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And the name of H&M’s new chain is…

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Swedish fast-fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) plans to call its new retail brand “& other stories” according to various media reports.

H&M will neither confirm nor deny the reports. But Swedish news outlet Dagens Nyheter reported that trademarks and logos for ‘& other stories’ were registered by a Swedish firm last year, and that Camilla Emilsson-Falk, head of media relations for H&M, confirmed the details.

The new brand, set to launch next spring in Europe will feature higher price points and better quality materials.

“The new chain of stores will be independent and complement the other offerings from the Group. We have great faith in this new brand and we see considerable potential for further initiatives,” CEO Karl-Johan Persson said last week in a statement.

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REI names senior executives for IT and e-commerce

BY Staff Writer

Redmond, Wash. — REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) promoted Bill Baumann and Brad Brown to senior VP information technology, and e-commerce and direct sales respectively.

In addition, Kathleen Peterson has been named VP of REI Private Brands.

“Bill and Brad’s promotions recognize the strategic importance of the information technology and e-commerce divisions to provide the infrastructure required to support REI’s growth over the next five years,” said Brian Unmacht, REI’s EVP. “Kathleen’s remarkable 25-year career with premier global brands serves her well as she leads the expansion of our award-winning branded gear and apparel offerings.”

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