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Jones Apparel 4Q Loss Narrows

BY CSA STAFF

New York City Jones Apparel Group Inc. on Wednesday said its fourth-quarter net loss narrowed although sales fell as Jones Apparel exited several apparel lines and posted weak holiday sales.

Quarterly loss totaled $89.8 million from $269.5 million last year. Fourth-quarter results include the gain on the sale of its high-end department-store chain, Barneys New York, and costs associated with a restructuring plan.

Revenue fell 17% to $838.5 million from $1.01 billion last year. Analysts expected revenue of $874.8 million. Same-store sales fell 4.8% during the quarter.

“The fourth quarter proved to be particularly challenging across our operating segments, largely due to the disappointing holiday retail season and the overall macroeconomic environment,” said Wesley R. Card, Jones Apparel Group president and chief executive. “Our wholesale businesses were negatively impacted by higher-than-planned markdowns to support our retail partners, and our retail operations continued to trend negatively during the quarter consistent with the overall climate.”

Separately, Jones Apparel said Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will begin carrying its l.e.i. juniors, juniors plus and girls line in the summer.

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CBS Consumer Products reports exec hires

BY CSA STAFF

LOS ANGELES Keith Lowenadler and PJ Pierce have joined CBS Consumer Products, as vp of creative and director of licensing, respectively.

Lowenadler had previously been creative director, packaging and advertising of packaged foods and theme parks at Sesame Workshop. Before that, he held various positions at ABC Cable Networks Group, Fox Family Worldwide and Disney Consumer Products.

Previously, Pierce oversaw the growth of the global licensing division for the JLO by Jennifer Lopez brand at Sweetface Fashion Company. He also spent several years working in public relations at Edelman and Hill and Knowlton.

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CEA debuts new wireless training program

BY CSA STAFF

ARLINGTON, Va. The Consumer Electronics Association today introduced a new wireless certification program for wireless retail stores.

According to CEA, the new training program, available at www.CEknowhow.com, teaches consumer electronics sales associates the latest wireless technologies, as well as key product features, accessories, plans, subscriptions and any extras the consumer might need to complete their solution. CEA added that the training module uses an interactive format that is more conducive for delivery on the retail sales floor.

With more choices than ever in wireless handsets, subscriptions and data services, shopping for a new device can be an overwhelming experience for the average consumer, said Kara Dickerson, CEAs director of strategic relationships. When retail sales professionals know and understand the features that theyre selling, customer satisfaction increases and product returns are reduced. CEAs Wireless Certification Program provides a solid foundation of knowledge that will benefit all wireless retailers and their teams. 

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