FINANCE

Bebe slides to loss

BY Marianne Wilson

Brisbane, Calif. — Bebe Stores Inc. reported a loss for its fourth quarter amid weaker sales and markdowns.

The apparel chain posted a loss of $20.8 million for the three-month period ended July 6, compared with net income of $3 million in the fourth quarter last year.

Bebe’s total revenue edged down to $119.2 million, from $131.5 million.

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Lowe’s picks former GE exec to lead LBM divisions

BY CSA STAFF

Lowe’s has appointed Michael P. McDermott to the newly created position of SVP and general merchandising manager-building and maintenance.

McDermott will be responsible for the Lumber & Building Materials, Millwork, Hardware & Tools and Rough Plumbing & Electrical divisions. He will report to chief merchandising officer Michael A. Jones.

McDermott joins Lowe’s from General Electric, where he served most recently as sales leader-appliances and was also a member of the company’s corporate commercial council. He has more than 20 years of experience in product leadership, merchandising, marketing and commercial sales.

“Mike’s experience leading merchandising for GE’s multi-billion dollar appliance business as well as organizations that sell into the building and maintenance space, will bring added value to Lowe’s merchandising team,” explained Jones. “He understands the importance of brand management, strong relationships with vendor-partners and how to lead teams — skills which will help Lowe’s continue to improve product assortment to better serve do-it-yourself and pro customers alike.”

In his new role, McDermott will work with Troy J. Dally, SVP and general merchandising manager- seasonal and Clint T. Davis, SVP and general merchandising manager-home décor. McDermott earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the College of New Jersey and a master’s degree in political science from Villanova University.

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FINANCE

Investor ups stake in Penney to become second largest investor

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Hedge fund manager Richard Perry has upped his already substantial share in J.C. Penney Co. Perry’s Perry Capitol LLC now ranks as Penney’s second-largest investor after George Soros.

It was disclosed on Friday that Perry bought an additional three million shares of Penney in a secondary offering for $12.90 a share, and that it now owns 8.62% of the company, up from its previous 7.3% stake.

The announcement comes four days after William Ackman, whose Pershing Square Capital Management had been the largest shareholder, said he was exiting his entire 18% stake.

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