Hurricane Update: Rita Advances
New York City, Retailers and developers are making tough decisions as Hurricane Rita makes waves in the Gulf of Mexico. Mall owner General Growth Properties of Chicago, is closing its other Houston malls — Deerbrook Mall in Humble, First Colony Mall in Sugar Land, Willowbrook Mall and The Woodlands Mall — today, the Houston Chronicle reported. The Galleria will be closed today and Friday.
Wal-Mart Stores today said 23 facilities were closed in anticipation of Hurricane Rita, and 64 were likely to be shut by tonight. More than 100 facilities were within a 120-mile radius of where Rita is expected to make landfall near Galveston, Texas. Best Buy has closed 20 stores currently in the path of Rita.
In Katrina-related news:
• Matthews, N.C.-based Family Dollar Stores Inc. said 28 of its 50 to 60 stores that were closed because of Hurricane Katrina remain closed. Some of those locations suffered significant damage and may be closed for good, the company said.
• Best Buy has four stores still closed, due to damage sustained from Katrina. They are located in Harvey, La.; Metairie, La.; Slidell, La.; and Mobile, Ala.
Container Store Makes Executive Moves
Dallas, The Container Store named Sharon Ellis as its CFO. She has more than 15 years of financial and banking experience, most recently as senior VP of commercial banking at JPMorgan Chase. The company’s CFO position was previously held by Stefan Ferm, who will now focus on his role as chairman and CEO of wholly owned subsidiary elfa International AB and executive VP of international operations for The Container Store.
In addition, three new VPs were named. Mona Williams has been promoted to VP of buying from senior merchandise director. Peggy Doughty has been promoted to VP of visual merchandising after serving as senior merchandise director. Lucy Witte has been promoted to VP of marketing from her prior position as director of sales and marketing.
H&M to Drop Model Moss Over Admitted Drug Use
New York City, Yesterday, H&M dismissed Kate Moss as its centerpiece from a planned advertising campaign following an admission of cocaine use by the top model. The verdict by Europe’s largest clothing chain, with 78 American stores, came as a surprise, considering that H&M earlier stated that Moss would be forgiven and the campaign would proceed as scheduled.
However, after H&M’s initial pardoning, public complaints via the Internet and the media seemed to force the European retailer’s hand. With such a strong client base of teenagers and young adults, H&M deemed it best to distance itself from drugs, as H&M representative Jennifer Uglialoro cited the need for retailers to employ “healthy, wholesome, and sound” agents.
As for Moss, her future is uncertain. Earning more than $9 million a year, she appears in advertising campaigns for many top fashion companies, including Chanel, Burberry and Dior. At this point, it is unclear whether other companies will follow H&M’s lead and distance themselves from Moss.