OPERATIONS

J.C. Penney adds Giggle to its lineup

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — J.C. Penney Co. has partnered with Giggle, a New York-based upscale baby specialty store chain, to debut an exclusive collection of Giggle-branded merchandise next fall, Crain’s New York reported.

The new line is one of the many branded in-store shops that are now in the works at J.C. Penney.

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OPERATIONS

Wet Seal chairman and three board members out; replaced by Clinton Group nominees

BY Marianne Wilson

Foothills Ranch, Calif. — The chairman of The Wet Seal and three other directors have stepped down from its board, replaced by four nominees of the Clinton Group. The move follows several attempts by the activist investor group, which holds about 7% of Wet Seal, to take control of the struggling retailer.

As a result of the board changes, Clinton Group has agreed to terminate its effort to get support from shareholders for its nominees, Wet Seal said Friday.

The Wet Sea said board members Jonathan Duskin, Sidney Horn and Henry Winterstern have resigned, along with chairman Hal Kahn. They have been replaced with four Clinton Group nominees: Dorrit Bern, Lynda Davey, Mindy Meads and John Mills.

The board will also still include Kathy Bronstein, John Goodman and Ken Reiss.

“We believe that the agreement with Clinton Group is in the best interest of all Wet Seal shareholders,” said Ken Seipel, president and COO of Wet Seal. “This settlement will provide for a smooth and orderly transition of the Board’s responsibilities, as well as a level of continuity for our employees.”

The retailer said that former board chairman Kahn has agreed to continue to serve the company as a consultant pursuant to his existing contract.

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Report: Wal-Mart sued in Florida for gender discrimination

BY Staff Writer

New York — Three female employees of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. filed a lawsuit Thursday in federal court in South Florida claiming the company discriminates against women in areas such as wages and promotion opportunities, the Associated Press reported.

The potential class-action lawsuit follows similar lawsuits recently filed in Tennessee, Texas and California. It also follows a 2011 U.S. Supreme Court decision that tossed out a national gender bias lawsuit seeking to represent some 1.6 million female Wal-Mart workers.

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