OPERATIONS

Jo-Ann Stores CEO resigns

BY Dan Berthiaume

Hudson, Ohio – Travis Smith has resigned as president and CEO of Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. Until a replacement has been identified, Jim Kerr, executive VP and CFO, will serve as Interim CEO of the company, while continuing in his current role as CFO.

The board of directors is undertaking a comprehensive search to identify a replacement. In his role as interim CEO, Kerr will partner with Riddi Kline, executive VP of marketing and merchandising, and Tom Williams, executive VP of operations and HR, to manage the business.

Smith joined Jo-Ann in July 2006 and has served in various executive roles prior to being named CEO in August 2011. Smith oversaw marketing, merchandising, sourcing, inventory management, supply chain and store operations. He expressed goodwill in a public statement but did not identify what his next career move will be.

“I am proud of our accomplishments at Jo-Ann,” said Smith. “Together we have expanded the reach of Jo-Ann by growing the store base, investing in omni-channel initiatives, and improving the customer experience. I wish the company and its employees all the best as I pursue a new chapter in my career.”

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OPERATIONS

Nine West Jeanswear Group becomes One Jeanswear Group

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Nine West Jeanswear Group Inc., formerly known as Jones Jeanswear Group, is changing its name to One Jeanswear Group Inc. This change is an additional step in giving the Jeanswear division a distinct identity as an independent operating company within Nine West Holdings, Inc., a portfolio company of Sycamore Partners.

OneJeanswear Group’s portfolio of brands includes Gloria Vanderbilt, l.e.i., Bandolino, Jessica Simpson (under license), Code Bleu, Vintage America Blues, Erika, Nine West jeans, Tint jeans, Kind Of and Energie, in addition to numerous private label brands for key retail partners. One Jeanswear Group products are available in multiple channels of distribution, including department stores, mid-tier retailers, mass retailers, and online.

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Wet Seal launches Wet Seal + Plus banner Aug. 16

BY Dan Berthiaume

Foothill Ranch, Calif. – The Wet Seal Inc. is launching its new Wet Seal + Plus banner with 30 new stores opening Aug. 16. The stores are opening in California, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

Wet Seal initially announced it would open the Wet Seal + Plus banner in April 2014, when the retailer exited its Arden B business. The chain is aimed at plus-sized girls. An online contest is allowing girls to submit photos and entries for the chance to become a Wet Seal + Plus model.

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