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Kay Jewelers launches social holiday sweepstakes

BY Dan Berthiaume

Akron, Ohio – Kay Jewelers has launched a "Merry Match" sweepstakes on its Facebook page and for Twitter pages from Dec. 20-Dec. 24.

Each day, the Kay Jewelers Facebook page will feature a new memory game, highlighting popular designs. Visitors to the Kay Jewelers Facebook page can enter the sweepstakes daily, and will have the opportunity to receive additional entries, as well as to uncover each day’s prize, by completing the "Merry Match" Sweepstakes memory game. Bonus entries will also be awarded for each friend invited who registers for the sweepstakes, with up to 25 bonus entries available. Followers of @KayJewelers on Twitter can also register daily for separate Twitter drawings by using the hashtag, #KayHoliday.

Each day, Kay will select, at random, one winner from the list of all registered participants on Facebook and one winner from the list of all registered participants on Twitter. The daily winners will receive that day’s designated jewelry prize.

"The ‘Merry Match’ Sweepstakes is a fun way for us to thank our fans while also celebrating the season with them," said George Murray, senior VP of marketing, Kay Jewelers. "In addition to being able to enjoy the fun and interactive memory game, we know our fans will also love the great jewelry prizes."

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Whirlpool comes home again

BY CSA STAFF

Whirlpool is reaffirming its commitment to its U.S. manufacturing base by moving production of its commercial front-load washing machines from Monterrey, Mexico, to Clyde, Ohio.

Approximately 80-100 new jobs will be created in Clyde during the next three years to support this manufacturing relocation. The company expects the relocation to increase its operational efficiencies and align with its strategy of building products in the regions where they are primarily sold. Production of the font-load commercial washer platform is due to begin in the U.S. April 2014.

"We continue to invest in advanced manufacturing processes in our Clyde, Ohio, plant where we have a highly skilled workforce, making this a smart, long-term business decision for us," said Jeff Durham, VP of U.S. manufacturing. "We look forward to ramping up production and building this quality product, for the U.S. and abroad, right here in Clyde, Ohio."

These front-load commercial washing machines are sold for use in Laundromats, hospitals, hotels and other commercial settings. This product is primarily sold in the U.S. with approximately 10% being exported to Europe, Australia, Latin America and Asia.

Whirlpool’s Clyde manufacturing plant is 2.4 million sq. ft. — and is the largest washing machine plant in the world. Whirlpool currently manufactures all of its residential washers for the U.S. market in its Clyde plant. This includes production of washers sold under the brands Whirlpool, Maytag, Amana, Estate, Roper, Crosley, Admiral and Kenmore, as well as the company’s Canadian brand, Inglis. All accompanying dryers are made in Whirlpool’s dryer manufacturing facility in Marion, Ohio.

Whirlpool currently employs approximately 15,000 U.S. manufacturing workers — more than all of its major competitors combined. Eighty percent of the products Whirlpool sells in the U.S. are made in the U.S. The company has committed to investing $1 billion from 2010–2014 in its U.S. footprint including investments at the Clyde facility, other manufacturing facilities and a new office complex in the company’s Michigan headquarters.

The Whirlpool Mexico facility is adding a new residential washer production line to serve the Mexico market. The company expects to maintain its employment levels at the Mexico facility and anticipates no interruption in the supply of commercial washers during the changeover.

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Sycamore Partners to buy Jones Group for $1.2 billion

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York — The Jones Group has accepted a buyout offer of $15 per share in cash, or a total of approximately $1.2 billion, from private equity firm Sycamore Partners. Upon completion of the deal, Jones, whose brands include Nine West, Anne Klein and Easy Spirit, will become a privately held company.

“This business, which I founded nearly 45 years ago, has expanded into a global portfolio of powerful brands,” stated Sidney Kimmel, Jones’s chairman. “I am proud of our heritage and believe the Jones Group’s brands will thrive through our partnership with Sycamore.”

The acquisition, which is structured as a one-step merger with The Jones Group as the surviving corporation, is subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of shareholder and regulatory approvals. The transaction is currently expected to close in the second quarter of 2014. At least three shareholder rights law firms have already said they are investigating the buyout.

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