OPERATIONS

Coldwater Creek names president and chief merchandising officer

BY CSA STAFF

Sandpoint, Idaho — Coldwater Creek announced that Jill Brown Dean has been appointed president and chief merchandising officer, effective Feb. 14. She succeeds Georgia Shonk Simmons who previously announced her intention to retire.

Dean joins Coldwater Creek with over 25 years of retail and merchandising experience in the specialty retail sector. She most recently served as president of the Limited Too division of Tween Brands.

The company also announced that Jerome Jessup, currently executive VP creative director, has been promoted to president and chief creative officer.

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OPERATIONS

Men’s Wearhouse names former Victoria’s Secret chief to board

BY CSA STAFF

Houston — The Men’s Wearhouse said Friday it has elected former Victoria’s Secret Stores CEO Grace Nichols to its board of directors.

The appointment is effective Jan. 30.

Nichols will be the ninth member of the company’s board. She worked at Limited Brands for 20 years and was CEO of Victoria’s Secret Stores from 1992 to 2007. Nichols is also on the boards of Pacific Sunwear of California and of New York & Co.

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OPERATIONS

Obama support could propel Walmart growth forward

BY CSA STAFF

Washington, D.C. — An endorsement by First Lady Michelle Obama of its new food nutrition and health initiative has helped to propel Wal-Mart Stores forward in its plans to remove political obstacles to further U.S. growth.

The new healthy food drive, in which Walmart is reformulating its Great Value private-label foods to reduce sodium and sugar contents, was announced on Thursday at a community center in a low-income area of Washington, D.C. It was attended by the First Lady, who also leads an administration initiative to fight childhood obesity.

The White House support could represent a significant boost for the retailer as it seeks to win local political support for new stores in Democrat-run cities including New York, Washington, Baltimore and Los Angeles, following a deal last summer to start opening stores in Chicago.

The retailer announced plans for the first four Walmart stores in Washington, D.C., in December, but is facing protests from union-backed groups who argue that Walmart’s non-union, low-cost model undercuts the benefits offered by unionized competitors.

In New York City, the retailer is reported to have lined up a site for its first store, rejoining a battle after at least two previous efforts to enter New York were blocked by city politicians.

Opponents of Walmart are expected to use a planned city council committee meeting next week to outline their case against the retailer.

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