FINANCE

Francesca’s Holdings files IPO

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Women’s fashion apparel retailer Francesca’s Holdings Corp. filed for up to an estimated $150 million to be raised in an initial public offering.

The company has about $41.4 million in proceeds from the offering earmarked toward repaying a senior secured credit facility, Dow Jones Newswires reported. Remaining funds may be used for opening new stores and growing its e-commerce business.

For the year ended Jan. 29, Francesca’s same-store sales climbed 15% on top of a 9.8% increase a year earlier.

The company, whose stores operate under the Francesca’s Collections banner, plans to list its stock on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol FRAN.

Francesca’s was acquired by New York-based private equity firm CCMP Capital Advisors last year. CCMP will continue to hold a controlling stake after the IPO, the report said.

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STORE SPACES

Rue21 taps PlayNetwork for customized programming

BY CSA STAFF

Redmond, Wash. — Apparel retailer Rue21 has selected PlayNetwork to produce and program in-store music and messaging for 672 Rue21 retail sites in 44 states.

The rue21 stores will be the first to feature PlayNetwork’s new MC550 media player, which which enables businesses to securely deliver immersive entertainment programming featuring music, video, digital signage and branded messaging content.

“The MC550 will allow us to continually enhance our in-store branding alongside the newest fashion trends, and supports our future power media initiatives in the 110 stores we’re planning to open in the coming year,” said Dione O’Dell, director of marketing at Rue21. “This ‘up-to-date’, current stream of music complements our speed-to-market merchandise strategy providing customers with a consistent shopping experience.”

Through a customized media program from PlayNetwork, driven by the user-friendly MC550 platform, Rue21 can build brand affinity through customizable or automatic dayparting and rich mixes of music, messaging and seasonal promotions.

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OPERATIONS

Pacific Sunwear appoints CFO

BY CSA STAFF

Anaheim, Calif. — Pacific Sunwear of California announced that Michael Kaplan will join the company as senior VP and CFO, effective May 2. He will be replacing Mike Henry who became interim CFO in November 2007 and was named CFO in January 2008.

Most recently, Kaplan was CFO of Harbor Freight Tools, a 349-store retailer of proprietary branded tools. Prior to joining Harbor Freight Tools in 2010, he was a senior executive of Gap Inc. from 2005 to 2010.

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