OPERATIONS

Jones New York closing outlet stores, ending wholesale business

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Jones New York announced that it will close its 127 outlet stores and discontinue its wholesale business over the course of 2015.

The company said that it made the decision after a review of recent performance and outlook. Jones also said it will pursue strategic alternatives for the brand, which has long been a staple in mid-priced department stores. Its appeal, however, faded in recent years as department stores expanded their private label offerings.

Sycamore Partners bought Jones Group Inc., owner of the Jones New York and Nine West brands, in December 2013. The Nine West brand is not affected.

“We recognize that the Jones New York brand is important to many loyal customers, and we are pursuing strategic alternatives for the brand,” interim CEO Andrew Hede said in the statement today. “We will work with our wholesale customers and vendors to ensure an orderly transition over the course of this year.”

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OPERATIONS

DD’s Discounts president departs

BY Dan Berthiaume

Dublin, Calif. – Doug Baker, who served as president and chief merchandising officer of Ross Stores’ DD’s Discounts division since 2011, is leaving the company. A specific reason has not been given.

The senior merchandising executives at DD’s Discounts will report to Ross executive chairman Michael Balmuth while the company conducts a search to fill this position.

"Doug has made numerous contributions over the years as a merchandising executive at both Ross Dress for Less and DD’s Discounts,” said Balmuth. “We thank him and wish him well in his future endeavors."

Barbara Rentler, CEO, added: "Looking ahead, we remain confident in the DD's Discounts business model and excited about its growth prospects. Our store opening plans are on track and we continue to believe that over time this business can become a chain of 500 locations from the 152 we operate today."

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OPERATIONS

Office Depot selects Capgemini to drive tech migration

BY Dan Berthiaume

Boca Raton, Fla. – Office Depot Inc. is obtaining a little outside assistance with integration resulting from its merger with OfficeMax. Office Depot has selected Capgemini to drive critical technology migration and finance and accounting services resulting from the merger.

As part of the contract Capgemini’s role will be to help standardize and optimize Office Depot’s global finance and accounting operations, extending its existing business process outsourcing (BPO) services until 2020 (extension of contract which was set to expire in 2016). Capgemini will also provide new services for application development and maintenance to 2017, as well as testing services through to the end of 2015. Testing services include the implementation of a Testing Center of Excellence to enhance Office Depot’s application testing function.

Office Depot is extending its relationship with Capgemini to consolidate and standardize the financial and accounting processes across the combined global operations with OfficeMax. Capgemini began working with Office Depot in 2011 to streamline its end-to-end finance processes and is now expanding its services post-merger.

“Capgemini has been a longstanding and trusted business partner for Office Depot, providing us a strategic approach to restructuring our financial management processes,” said Kim Moehler, senior VP, chief accounting officer finance department for Office Depot Inc. “The sheer velocity of change and reorganization at our company required a partner that would work as a core component of our team. Capgemini has successfully implanted its consultative business process outsourcing expertise across the finance organization, which has brought us heightened benefits.”

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