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Fred Segal to open lifestyle centers; names retail vet Paul Blum CEO

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Legendary Los Angeles retailer Fred Segal is going global. The company, which was acquired by media and licensing company Sandow in 2012, plans to open up to 10 luxury retail lifestyle centers in the United States and across the world during the next five to 10 years. And leading the expansion will be its newly hired CEO, retail veteran Paul Blum, who most recently served as CEO of Juicy Couture. Prior to that, he served as CEO of David Yurman and Kenneth Cole Productions.

Sandow said it has partnered with equity investor Evolution Media Partners on the new concept, which will blend shopping with innovative art, culture and entertainment experiences. Other partners include entertainment and sports agency giant CAA, which will provide expertise in the areas of licensing, branding, digital strategy, content creation and beyond; TPG Growth, the middle market and growth equity investment platform of global investment firm TPG; and Participant Media, the global entertainment company founded in 2004 by Jeff Skoll. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“Fred Segal has maintained its authenticity for more than 50 years. Working with powerhouse partners like Evolution, CAA, TPG and Participant Media – as well as Paul Blum, an experienced CEO with deep roots in retail – will allow us to reinvent the retail experience across America and the rest of the world," said Adam I. Sandow, chairman and CEO of Sandow.

Together, the partners envision a “major reinvention” of the luxury shopping experience, under the Fred Segal brand, which will combine fashion with dining, entertainment, cultural events and health and wellness programs in footprints of up to 50,000 sq. ft.

"The convergence of fashion, technology and media has created a great opportunity to leverage Fred Segal’s Southern California celebrity heritage," said Blum. "I’m very excited to partner with Sandow, an innovation-rich brand and media company, and our new investors Evolution Media Partners, to build a new and engaging customer experience in the luxury sector."

In an interview with Women’s Wear Daily, Blum said he sees opening the first lifestyle center within the year. He said each center will be individually designed, and that there will be some leased departments.

The original Fred Segal stores — in West Hollywood and Santa Monica — are not owned by Sandow, and will not be affected by the expansion.

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Target taps media exec as senior VP, media and guest engagement

BY Marianne Wilson

Minneapolis — In a move to further boost its marketing organization, Target Corp. has hired Kristi Argyilan as senior VP, media and guest engagement, effective June 2.

Argyilan comes to the Target from IPG Mediabrands where she was most recently the president at Magna Global, North America. She has also held senior positions with advertising and integrated marketing agencies including Arnold, Hill Holiday, and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.

At Target, Argyilan will be responsible for leading and integrating the company’s paid, earned, owned and shared media initiatives.

“Kristi is known nationally as a transformational, digitally savvy marketer. As Target continues to accelerate our efforts to innovate and evolve, her expertise in leveraging today’s dynamic media mix will help us connect with Target’s guests in new and different ways,” stated Jeff Jones, executive VP, chief marketing officer at Target.

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Survey: Google and Costco tops in compensation and benefits

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Google and Costco Wholesale Corp. came out on top in a survey of large companies with the best compensation and benefits for workers by jobs site Glassdoor. Rounding out the top five were Facebook, Adobe and Epic.

The ranking was based on an online anonymous survey that asked employees to rate how satisfied they were with their pay and benefits on a scale of 1 to 5. Costco and Google both received a score of 4.4 out of 5. Google ranked higher than Costco only by fractions of a point.

In general, tech companies made a strong showing in the top 25 survey. Intuit came in at No. 6; Salesforce at No. 9; Microsoft at No.18; and eBay at No. 25.

Click here for more survey results.

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