OPERATIONS

J.C. Penney announces senior management promotions, additions

BY Marianne Wilson

Plano, Texas — J.C. Penney Co. on Thursday announced several promotions and additions to its merchandising, operations and investor relations areas.

“We’re rethinking every element of the retail business and there’s no better way to re-imagine the possibilities than to tap the proven abilities of our own extraordinary talent along with the fresh perspectives offered by industry experts new to our organization,” said CEO Ron Johnson.

In the operations area, Bob Peterson has been appointed to senior VP operational strategy, and will be responsible for identifying and evaluating key business opportunities and strategic alliances. He was previously with Piper Jaffray.

Thorsten Weber has been promoted to senior VP merchandising planning and allocation, where he will continue to lead our merchandising planning and allocation efforts. Weber has a wide range of retail experience, having held multiple roles of increasing responsibility at J.C. Penney since 2002. Vaneet Grover has been appointed as senior VP procurement. He was previously senior VP supply chain for Tandy Brands.

In the merchandising area, John Tighe, senior VP and former general merchandise manager of the Home division, will become general merchandise manager of the Men’s division. Paul Rutenis has been promoted to senior VP and general merchandise manager for the Home division.

Eric Cerny has been appointed as VP investor relations. Most recently, Cerny oversaw investor relations at Abercrombie & Fitch.

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FINANCE

Kate Spade New York to buy out JV partner, continue international push

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York — Kate Spade New York announced Thursday that it will buy its Japanese JV partner Sanei International’s 51% share in Kate Spade Japan.

The move, said Kate Spade, is part of an aggressive international push that includes recent store openings in the United Kingdom, Dubai and Kuwait, as well as further expansion into Brazil with additional store openings in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo planned for this summer.

"Kate Spade New York has a long and successful history in the Asian market,” said Craig Leavitt, CEO, Kate Spade New York. “It is our strategy to build a global company to support what is already quickly becoming a global brand."

Kate Spade New York’s strategy is to fully or partially own the majority of its Asia-based businesses. In May 2011, the company announced a joint venture in the People’s Republic of China with the E.land group to create a significant brand presence with plans to grow to nearly 300 points of distribution by 2020. At that time, Kate Spade New York also announced its plans to buy back the Hong Kong South East Asia business from its long term distribution partner in January 2014.

The purchase of the Japanese business is slated for a fall 2012 completion.

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News

Discounting pioneer dies at 91

BY CSA STAFF

New York — Eugene Ferkauf, founder of the E.J. Korvette chain, died Tuesday at the age of 91, said Yeshiva University, where he was a longtime former trustee and benefactor, the New York Times reported.

"He was a brilliant entrepreneur, innovator and pioneer of the discounting concept," said Burt Flickinger, III, managing director of the retail consultancy Strategic Resource Group, in the report.

Ferkauf founded Korvette in 1948, initially selling luggage from a loft on 46th Street before expanding into other merchandise categories and to 45 outlets throughout the New York metro area. He offered deep discounts of up to 40% on merchandise.

Ferkauf was featured on the cover of Time magazine in 1962 with the title: "Discounting Gets Respectable." He sold his share in the company in 1966 for more than $20 million. Korvette went out of business in around 1980.

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