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Gordon Bros. affiliate acquires Ashley Stewart

BY CSA STAFF

Boston GB Merchant Partners’ 1903 Equity Fund L.P., the institutional private equity affiliate of Gordon Brothers Group, announced late Monday that it has acquired Secaucus, N.J.-based plus-size retailer Ashley Stewart.

“Ashley Stewart is an iconic brand in the plus-size fashion industry,” said James Rhee, managing director of GB Merchant Partners. “The brand commands intense loyalty amongst a loyal customer base. By funding the business with a significant amount of permanent capital and no third-party debt, we have given an accomplished management team the resources to expand the store footprint and explore alternative avenues of growth, including licensing, wholesale and e-commerce.”

Ashley Stewart currently operates more than 200 stores in the United States.

GB Merchant Partners said it has structured the transaction so that it has acquired the assets with no outstanding liabilities.

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GSMA announces latest speaker lineup for Mobile World Congress

BY CSA STAFF

LONDON The GSMA announced that the CEOs of Intel, Microsoft, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, RIM, SoftBank and Yahoo! will be making keynote speeches at Mobile World Congress, which will be held Feb. 14 to 17, 2011 in Barcelona.

“The 2011 Mobile World Congress features an unparalleled lineup of keynote speakers from companies spanning the full mobile communications ecosystem,” said Michael O’Hara, chief marketing officer, GSMA. “Attendees will have access to the individuals and organisations who are leading the mobile transformation, gaining important perspectives and insights on the future of communications.”

 

Recently confirmed Mobile World Congress keynote speakers are:

 

    * Paul Otellini, president and CEO, Intel     * Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft     * Stephen Elop, president and CEO, Nokia     * Ryuji Yamada, president and CEO, NTT DoCoMo     * Jim Balsillie, co-CEO, Research In Motion     * Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO, SoftBank     * Carol Bartz, CEO, Yahoo!

 

Previously announced speakers include:

 

    * Daniel Hajj, CEO, America Movil and Telcel     * Randall Stephenson, chairman, CEO and president, AT&T     * Li Yue, president and CEO, China Mobile     * Eric Schmidt, chairman and CEO, Google     * Peter Chou, CEO, HTC     * Paul Jacobs, chairman and CEO, Qualcomm     * Jack Dorsey, CEO, Square     * Evan Williams, co-founder, Twitter     * Vittorio Colao, chief executive, Vodafone     * Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive, WPP

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One size does not fit most

BY CSA STAFF

Apparel sales at Target were weak in October, registering a decline in the low single-digit range, while sales at competitors with greater exposure to apparel were mixed. For example, Macy’s registered a 2.5% comp increase, but such rivals as Dillard’s, JCPenney and Kohl’s posted declines of 1%, 1.9% and 2.5% respectively. Meanwhile, such off-price chains as Ross Stores and TJX Companies continue to show strength and exceeded their sales plans. Ross gained 4% and TJX results, although flat for the month, were at the high end of the company’s guidance that was tempered by a double digit gain the prior year. The strongest performance was turned in by retailers who appeal to more affluent shoppers. Saks reported an 8.1% increase and Nordstrom posted a 3.4% increase.

 

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