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Cam Newton scores exclusive collection with Belk

BY CSA STAFF

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Belk has partnered with NFL quarterback Cam Newton to launch an exclusive line of men’s apparel.

The Made Cam Newton collection will first include professional apparel options for men and will expand to include accessories and shoes in fall 2013.

"Professional sports play an increasingly important role in fashion, and as a fashion retailer, Belk is excited to be at the forefront of the trend through this brand," says Kathryn Bufano, president and merchandising officer for Belk. "Cam Newton personifies our company’s dedication to family, community and the Southern lifestyle, and therefore is a perfect complement to Belk’s modern Southern fashions."

By spring 2013, Made Cam Newton will be available in 133 Belk stores across the southeast and on Belk.com.

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H&M joins NYC skyline with Times Square store

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK — H&M will cement its place in New York City with the opening of its 13th store in Times Square.

The retailer has announced the lease signing for a 42,500 sq. ft. space that will become part of the NYC skyline, complete with 70 ft. by 70 ft. signage at the top of the store.

The store will feature three floors housing collections for ladies, men and children.

"H&M believes strongly in the New York City market. Since opening our first US store in Manhattan in 2000, we will now have 13 stores in Manhattan alone in 2013 and over 250 across the country", says Daniel Kulle, U.S. President for H&M. "Opening this new concept store in Times Square, the crossroads of the world, shows our commitment to opening in the best locations as well as our continued potential to open stores in Manhattan and the greater New York City area. This new H&M location will join our new flagship store on Fifth Avenue as world-wide shopping destinations."

H&M recently announced that it will open a store in The Shops at Columbus Circle located at the prestigious Time Warner Center, at the end of this year, as well as its new flagship store at 589 Fifth Avenue, which will be the largest H&M store in the world measuring 57,000 sq. ft.

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CIT Study: Middle-market companies poised for growth in 2013

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — More than half (53%) of middle market executives believe that their companies are on solid ground, according to a survey by CIT Group Inc., a leading provider of financing to small businesses and middle market companies. (In order to be eligible to participate in the survey, respondents had to be in a leadership role at firms with revenues between $25 million and $1 billion, the majority of whose employees were based in the United States.)

Additionally, the majority of respondents reported that, during the next 12 months, their companies are likely to: increase the range of products and services they offer in current markets (65%); expand into adjacent markets (58%); and enter other geographic regions (54%).

The study, “CIT Voice of the Middle Market: Perspectives from the Heart of America’s Economy,” also found that 42% middle-market companies expect to expand their workforce in the coming year.

In other findings:

  • Overall satisfaction with financing proves high. Eight in 10 middle market executives (81%) report that they are satisfied with their company’s access to financing, as well as the cost of financing for their company. Most also say that they are satisfied with the variety of financing alternatives available to their company (79%).
  • Looking ahead to the next 12 months, middle market executives express concern about continued economic uncertainty at the national level (83%) and talent management — the ability to retain top talent (59%) and to hire top talent (55%). Additionally, more than half (56%) are concerned about compliance with federal regulations, and healthcare reform tops the list of existing or pending federal legislation or regulation with the greatest impact on their companies.
  • Many middle market companies seem to fall short on their strategic management capacity. Based on the findings of the study and questions about company strategy, organization structure, effectiveness of business units, measuring and rewarding performance, and organizational culture, researchers developed an index to rate the management capacity of middle market companies. According to this index, only 26% of middle market executives represent companies that have strong strategic management.

KRC Research, on behalf of CIT, fielded an online survey among 300 U.S. middle market executives representing a range of industries. Researchers conducted fieldwork in the summer of 2012. In order to be eligible to participate in the survey, respondents had to be in a leadership role at firms with revenues between $25 million and $1 billion, the majority of whose employees were based in the United States.

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