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Castagna Leaves JCPenney

BY CSA STAFF

Plano, Texas, Vanessa Castagna decided to leave JCPenney when her employment contract expires this Sunday, the retailer said today. Castagna was chairman and CEO of JCPenney stores, catalog and Internet. Her responsibilities will be held by Ken Hicks, president and COO of JCPenney stores and merchandise operations, until a permanent successor is found.

It was widely speculated that Castagna would leave JCPenney when she was passed over as the replacement for retiring company CEO Allen Questrom late last month. The job was instead given to Myron Ullman, who joined the retailer from LVMH and was once CEO of Macy’s.

Castagna has been with JCPenney since 1999.

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Blockbuster Seeks to Acquire Hollywood Entertainment

BY CSA STAFF

Dallas, Blockbuster has placed an offer to acquire Hollywood Entertainment Corp. for $700 million, a deal that would confirm and enhance Blockbuster’s status as the largest movie-rental company. The deal also comes at a time when Blockbuster has been attempting to keep pace with Netflix and Wal-Mart, its core rivals in the Web-based movie-rental business. However, reports say that Hollywood Entertainment and Blockbuster have yet to discuss the deal.

In addition to the $700 million stock offer, which offers a 17% premium over Wilsonville, Ore.-based Hollywood Entertainment’s closing price of $9.80 on Nov. 10, Blockbuster would reportedly take on debt of about $300 million. In a prepared statement, John Antioco, chairman and chief executive of Blockbuster, said, “We believe this proposed transaction better positions Blockbuster to compete in the rapidly changing home-entertainment marketplace.”

The two companies reportedly attempted to merge roughly five years ago under a plan for a franchise agreement, but later gave up that deal under opposition from the Federal Trade Commission. They may still face the same antitrust concerns, some insiders say. Hollywood Entertainment owns and operates more than 1,920 Hollywood Video superstores and 600 Game Crazy specialty stores. Meanwhile, Blockbuster operates roughly 9,000 stores worldwide.

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People News: Today’s Executive Appointments

BY CSA STAFF

Framingham, Mass., Carol Meyrowitz is stepping down as president of TJX Cos.’ Marmaxx group, which is comprised of its T.J. Maxx and Marshalls divisions, effective Jan. 21, 2005. She will remain with the company in an advisory role to assist with the management transition through September 2005. Taking over as president of Marmaxx will be Ernie Herrman, who currently serves as COO of the division.

In addition, Jerome Rossi will take over Herrman’s role as COO of Marmaxx. Rossi currently serves as president of TJX’ HomeGoods unit. Lastly, Lisa Panattoni will assume the role of president of HomeGoods, where she currently serves as senior VP of merchandising and marketing.

• Houston-based Men’s Wearhouse, Inc. promoted Jayme Maxwell to senior VP, chief advertising and creative officer. She joined the company in 1992 as director of advertising and was named VP of marketing in January 2000. In addition, Men’s Wearhouse promoted Scott Waltz to senior VP, chief marketing officer.

• Macy’s East, a division of Cincinnati-based Federated Department Stores, named James Mansour as executive VP of visual merchandising. He is founder of Mansour Designs, a New York City-based retail design and brand development firm.

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