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Jo-Ann Fabric among first retailers to partner with Pinterest’s new Buyable Pins

BY Jennifer Mosscrop

Hudson, Ohio — Fabric and craft specialty retailer Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores is one of the partners for Pinterest’s new Buyable Pins, which is the social networking site’s first crack at e-commerce. Buyable Pins allow consumers to complete the process of discovering a product, saving it to a board and buying it directly on Pinterest.

“Buyable Pins remove barriers in the journey from inspiration to creation, so Jo-Ann is incredibly excited to be included in the introduction, granting our customers increased convenience in their creative processes,” said Chris DiTullio, VP, e-commerce and omnichannel for Jo-Ann.

Today, there are more than 4.2 million pins on Pinterest linking back to Joann.com, including products and inspiration. With Buyable Pins, all existing and future product Pins will be available for purchase directly through Pinterest.

Buyable Pins are expected to launch on the Pinterest iOS app this month. They would be available on Android and desktop later this year. Other Buyable Pins retail partners include Macy's, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Ethan Allen, according to USA Today.

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Justice still dragging down sales at Ascena

BY CSA STAFF

The struggling Justice brand and the West Coast port dispute held back Ascena Retail Group Inc. in the third quarter as the company awaits its acquisition of Ann Inc. to close later in 2015.

Ascena reported fiscal third-quarter profit that fell to $24.4 million, or 15 cents a share, from $33.2 million, or 20 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Net sales increased 0.5% to $1.15 billion, just shy of the FactSet consensus of $1.16 billion. Combined same-store sales fell 1%, as declines in sales at its Justice and Dressbarn stores offset growth at its Lane Bryant, Maurices and Catherines stores.

David Jaffe, president and CEO of Ascena Retail Group Inc., said: “Looking back on the third quarter, we saw strong performance at Lane Bryant, maurices, and Catherines, and are excited about the major marketing initiatives that were launched this quarter at Lane Bryant and dressbarn. While dressbarn performance was softer than expected in the third quarter, weather and receipt flow from the ports were major factors, and we remain confident in the momentum being built. Finally, at Justice, Brian Lynch and the executive leadership team are actively developing new marketing and pricing strategies for Fall, which we look forward to introducing during July, in time for back to school."

Ascena announced a deal last month to buy apparel retailer Ann Inc. in a deal valued at $2 billion.

Jaffe added: “We remain optimistic about the potential for all of our brands, and they each have distinct initiatives in place to drive higher levels of performance. We are also very excited about our announced acquisition of ANN Inc., and are looking forward to closing the deal in the second half of calendar 2015. The synergies we expect to unlock as a result of the deal will allow us to leverage the power of our shared services platform, and will deliver significant accretion to our shareholders."

Ascena Retail Group is a leading national specialty retailer offering clothing, shoes, and accessories for missy and plus-size women under the Lane Bryant, Cacique, maurices, dressbarn and Catherines brands; and for tween girls under the Justice brand. Ascena Retail Group Inc. operates through its subsidiaries approximately 3,900 stores throughout the United States and Canada.

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Vera Bradley appoints executive VP, CMO

BY Jennifer Mosscrop

Fort Wayne, Ind. – Vera Bradley, Inc. announced that Theresa Palermo has been named executive VP, CMO, effective June 22.

Since 2013, Palermo has served as VP, global marketing and public relations for Fossil Group, where she successfully created and executed innovative marketing strategies and campaigns for their extensive portfolio of luxury and fashion brands across North and Central America. Palermo joined Fossil in 2011 as global senior director of marketing. Prior to joining Fossil, she held key marketing roles of increasing responsibility with several well-known retailers including global footwear company Collective Brands, The Timberland Company and the J. Jill Group.

In the CMO role, Palermo will be responsible for developing and implementing marketing strategies and initiatives that will build Vera Bradley's brand awareness and drive revenue growth across all of the company's channels.

Palermo will be based in Fort Wayne and will report directly to Robert Wallstrom, CEO.

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