FINANCE

Chico’s repurchases 6.7 million shares

BY Dan Berthiaume

Fort Myers, Fla. – Chico’s FAS repurchased approximately 6.7 million shares of its common stock, for approximately $125 million, during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013, completing all but $55 million of its existing share repurchase authorization. The Chico’s board of directors has cancelled the remainder of its March 2013 share repurchase program and approved a new $300 million share repurchase authorization for the company’s common stock.

"We’re pleased that we will have distributed approximately $283 million in cash to shareholders during fiscal 2013, reflecting meaningful year-to-date share repurchases and the increased December 2013 dividend declaration," said Dave Dyer, CEO of Chico’s FAS. “Since the inception of our share repurchase and dividend programs in 2010, we will have distributed approximately $690 million to our shareholders. Both the new authorization and the recent dividend increase underscore the company’s commitment to returning excess cash to shareholders.”

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OPERATIONS

Sears Holdings elects new board member

BY Dan Berthiaume

Hoffman Estates, Ill. — Cesar L. Alvarez, co-chairman of the international law firm of Greenberg Traurig, LLP, has been elected to membership on the Sears Holdings board of directors.

Alvarez joined Greenberg Traurig in 1973. Prior to his appointment as co-chairman, Alvarez served the firm as its executive chairman for more than three years, and as its CEO 13 years. Prior to becoming CEO in 1997, he practiced securities, corporate and international law for more than 25 years.

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News

Saks Fifth Avenue has new marketing chief

BY CSA STAFF

Saks Fifth Avenue, a subsidiary of Hudson’s Bay Company, has appointed Mark Briggs as its chief marketing officer, reporting to president Marigay McKee, effective March 2014.

“Mark brings a wealth of experience in luxury brand management with a proven track record of creating retail magic around heritage brands. His passion for retail theater and essential understanding of the customer will be integral to our success,” said McKee. “I am thrilled to welcome Mark to the Saks team, where he will play a key role on the executive committee.”

Briggs, a longtime collaborator with McKee, spent 20 years at Harrods as director of store image, setting the strategic brand vision for the company overseeing marketing, communications and visual. In that role, he worked closely with McKee and the merchant team to develop creative campaigns to drive marketing and elevate the store’s overall image. He began his retail career at Harrods in visual merchandising and has held various positions of increasing responsibility overseeing windows, interiors, visual identity, creative and brand building.

In his new role, Briggs will oversee all marketing, creative and visual merchandising for Saks Fifth Avenue. His direct reports will include executives within those specialties.

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