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GBy guess Makes Dramatic Debut

BY Marianne Wilson

G by Guess, the newest format in the expanding portfolio of Guess? Inc., took top honors in Chain Store Age’s 26th annual Retail Store of the Year design competition. The 4,234-sq.-ft. store, in Escondido, Calif., was honored as the best overall entry, or Store of the Year, and also placed first in the soft lines category (less than 5,000 sq. ft.) and exterior category.

G by Guess is stylish and sexy, with an upbeat, California vibe and a cool, casual atmosphere. The design is right in sync with the target audience: fashion-forward, trendsavvy men and women between 17 and 26.

On the exterior, a chic, solid-black oversized door evokes the feel of a nightclub, adding drama and mystique to the interior. It works to entice a young audience well-known for its love of exclusivity.

Inside the store, ornamental metal accents, tone-on-tone meshing, shiny finishes and twinkling pin-light fixtures dramatize a dark color palette and continue the element of mystery. Fixtures and furnishings with rounded edges enhance the lounge-like atmosphere, but with a softness that invites guests to linger.

The familiar black-and-white colorscape of the Guess brand and its Southern California backdrop is portrayed in the form of an oversized floor-to-ceiling wall graphic. It creates a seamless brand wrapper around the store.

The fashion quotient—of the design, the merchandise and the brand itself—is high. Planked wood is used to create a center-store runway that is mirrored on the ceiling, putting the customers center stage and leading them into the store.

The runway element speaks directly to the target demographic’s need and desire to feel special. It converges at the back wall, where changing images are projected behind the wood-wrapped cashwrap.

From start to finish, G by Guess projects a strong image, with every detail on target. Punctuating its signature style with new, unexpected accents, it extends one of the nation’s most popular apparel brands to a new audience.

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Stage Stores says Peebles evp to retire

BY CSA STAFF

HOUSTON Stage Stores today announced that Dennis Abramczyk, evp and coo of its Peebles Division, will be retiring after approximately nine years with the company. He will continue to serve in his position until a replacement is found.

Jim Scarborough, chairman and ceo, commented, We want to thank Dennis for his contributions and service to our company, and we wish him well as he begins this new phase of his life. We will immediately begin a search for his successor, and we are pleased that Dennis will be staying on until the conclusion of our search process, as this will ensure a smooth and orderly transition.

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Home Depot to cut 500 HQ jobs

BY CSA STAFF

ATLANTA Home Depot is cutting 500 jobs at its headquarters. According to reports the cuts make up 10% of the 5,000 employees who work at the headquarters.

The cuts are partly due to the struggling U.S. economy, which has hurt market conditions, reports said. Employees were notified of the eliminations today, they will be paid through April 4.

Home Depot reported fiscal 2007 third quarter consolidated net earnings of $1.1 billion, or 60 cents per diluted share, compared with $1.5 billion, or 73 cents per diluted share, in the same period in fiscal 2006.

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