REAL ESTATE

H&M opening big on Fifth Avenue; 57,000-sq.-ft. store is its largest to date

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — H&M will open its largest store to date, a 57,000-sq.-ft. flagship on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, on July 17. The massive, museum-inspired store will carry the fast-fashion’s entire product line-up, including maternity, newborn, special sizes along with childrenswear, men’s and women’s apparel, and cosmetics. It will also feature a home department and in-shop stores for accessories and lingerie.

To celebrate the opening, the fast-fashion retailer is partnering with iconic American artist Jeff Koons and the Whitney Museum of Art. Koons’ famed Balloon Dog sculpture will cover the entire storefront, with the phrase "Fashion Loves Art” printed over it.

In addition, Koons has designed a limited-edition Balloon Dog handbag for H&M. The H&M partnership with the artist comes as the Whitney Museum prepares for the June 27th opening of a Koons’ retrospective, which the Swedish retail chain is sponsoring.

In a nod to its Fifth Avenue locale, the flagship will have a more upscale feel than traditional H&M stores. Materials will include marble tiles and herringbone wood work.

"The partnership with H&M was really exciting for me and the chance to showcase one of my most popular works to a new generation of people was inspiring. H&M delivers great fashion season after season and it’s nice to see my work at their new store," said Koons.

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News

Newell CEO joins Colgate board

BY CSA STAFF

Newell Rubbermaid president and CEO Michael Polk has joined the board of directors of Colgate-Palmolive. The move comes a little more than a month after the CPG company’s shareholders elected a slate of 10 directors.

Polk, 53, has served as president and CEO of Newell Rubbermaid since July 2011. Prior to that he was president of Unilever’s global foods, home and personal care unit since 2010. He joined Unilever in 2003 and also served as COO of Unilever Foods and president of Unilever USA and president of Unilever Americas. Prior to joining Unilever Polk spent sixteen years at Kraft Foods Inc. and three years at The Procter & Gamble Company. Polk also served in the past as a board member of The Yankee Candle Company.

More noteworthy than the appointment of another CPG company executive to the Colgate-Palmolive board was the announcement of a 36 cent quarterly dividend payout. The company said it has paid uninterrupted dividends on its common stock since 1895.

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FINANCE

Taxes, expenses push up Toys ‘R’ Us Q1 loss, but sales improve

BY Dan Berthiaume

Wayne, N.J. — Toys “R” Us reported a net loss of $196 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2014, up from a $111 million net loss in the year-ago period, amid a decrease in income tax benefit and rise in expenses that included investments in e-commerce and U.S. store maintenance. But the struggling retailer saw its sales improve.

Total sales for the quarter rose 2.9% to $2.48 billion, up from $2.41 billion in the same quarter of 2013. Domestic same-store sales improved 4%.

Antonio Urcelay, chairman and CEO, Toys ‘R Us, said the company is working on its pricing and promotions strategies.

“We are pleased to have delivered positive comparable store net sales results in both our U.S. and International segments during the first quarter of the year,” Urcelay said. “As we continue to work to improve operating margins, we have begun the process of developing a clearer pricing strategy, while simplifying and optimizing our promotional offerings.”

Urcelay said the retailer has begun "an aggressive inventory clearance effort" in the United States to make way for new products for the 2014 holiday season and improve inventory turns.

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