REAL ESTATE

Canadian firm acquires American Apparel — but not all of it

BY Marianne Wilson

It looks like it’s the end of the road for American Apparel — at least as we know it.

Canadian apparel manufacturer Gildan Activewear Inc. emerged as the winner in the court supervised auction to acquire the intellectual property and some other assets of the bankrupt American Apparel brand. The company, however, will not be purchasing American Apparel’s 110 retail stores, leaving the company’s retail future in doubt. Also uncertain is the fate of American Apparel’s garment workers at its factory in Los Angeles.

“We've never been in a position to be able to assume operations," Garry Bell, a Gildan spokesman said in a Chicago Tribune report. "We're not buying an ongoing concern."

Gilden’s $88 million winning bid was higher than its initial proposal of $66 million, which was made back in November as part of a stalking horse portion of American Apparel LLC’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing.

The deal is subject to approval from a bankruptcy court on Thursday.

Gilden, which is based in Montreal, said it will also separately purchase inventory from American Apparel to ensure a seamless supply of goods to the printwear channel while the company integrates the brand within its printwear business.

"The American Apparel brand will be a strong complementary addition to our growing brand portfolio,” said Glenn Chamandy, president and CEO of Gildan. “We see strong potential to grow American Apparel sales by leveraging our extensive printwear distribution networks in North America and internationally to drive further market share penetration in the fashion basics segment of these markets."

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C-SUITE

Sam’s Club taps company veteran as new CEO

BY Marianne Wilson

Wal-Mart Stores has appointed John Furner to succeed Rosalind Brewer, who is retiring as chief executive of Sams’ Club next month. Furner will assume the role of executive VP, president and CEO of the warehouse club chain on Feb. 1.

Furner, 42, has served as executive VP and chief merchandising officer of Sam’s Club since October 2015. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles with the company, including senior VP and chief merchandising officer of Walmart China; senior VP, home and apparel and global sourcing; and senior VP, proprietary brands and merchandising solutions.

Furner joined Walmart as an hourly store associate in 1993 and served in a variety of roles before being promoted to VP/divisional merchandise manager in 2006.

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C-SUITE

Nordstrom creates new executive role

BY Marianne Wilson

Nordstrom has added the title of chief innovation officer to its executive team.

The department store retailer named company veteran Geevy Thomas to the new position. Thomas, who most recently served as president of Nordstrom Rack, brings 34 years of experience in all areas of Nordstrom to this role, beginning as a salesperson and then moving into store, regional and buying management roles.

“Our new chief innovation officer and his team will lead the most forward-looking customer-centric effort that Nordstrom has taken on to date,” said Erik Nordstrom, co-president of Nordstrom.

The new Innovation team will be tasked with helping the company ideate how its full-line stores of the future will better serve customers through further integration of digital and mobile.

“We’re looking to answer big questions and to get there, we’re giving our Nordstrom Innovation team the ability to move quickly and boldly to find solutions for the stores of tomorrow right out of the gate today,” continued Nordstrom. “Creating a fully separate team will help remove restrictions or boundaries around what’s possible for the Innovation team to test and try.”

Replacing Thomas as president of Nordstrom Rack is Karen McKibbin as president, Nordstrom Rack. A 30-year Nordstrom veteran, McKibbin most recently was the company’s first president of Nordstrom Canada. She was named to the role in 2012, leading the company’s efforts to serve customers through its first international venture. She and her team opened five of the company’s six planned stores (with one to come in 2017).

McKibbin began her Nordstrom career in 1985 as a stockperson.

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