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Lacoste launches e-commerce operations in China

BY Dan Berthiaume

Troyes, France – Lacoste is establishing an online presence in Greater China using a new multichannel commerce solution from Accenture that features Demandware as the core digital commerce platform. Under terms of the agreement, Accenture has designed and built Lacoste’s online store and will continue to manage the operations of its online business in China.

This includes technology support, back office services, integration with microsites, customer services, logistics payment services and social media networks. Lacoste will retain responsibility for all brand related activities, such as digital marketing, eMerchandising, branding and media. Accenture will use Accenture Interactive to help deliver the services to Lacoste.

“We are excited to be making the iconic Lacoste brand available online to Chinese consumers,” said Sébastien Fayet, head of digital at Lacoste. “Accenture’s solution offers Lacoste the ability to quickly reach millions of Chinese consumers, and provide them with a quality and secure online experience.”

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No surprises for Maidenform Brands’ Q2 results

BY CSA STAFF

ISELIN, N.J. — Maidenform Brands’ reported total net sales of $145.4 million for the second quarter ended June 29, a 7.7% decrease from $157.5 million for the same quarter last year, were in line with the company’s expectations.

The numbers come on the heels of Maidenform’s announcement July 23 that it had entered into a definitive agreement with Hanesbrands Inc. which would enable Hanesbrands to acquire all outstanding shares of Maidenform for $23.50 per share in cash, representing a transaction value of approximately $575 million.

Wholesale segment net sales for the second quarter of 2013 decreased 8.2% to $129.8 million compared to the year-ago quarter. Retail segment net sales decreased 3.1% to $15.6 million.

Net sales for the department stores and national chain stores channel decreased 11.2% to $62.5 million for the quarter because of softness in the bra and shapewear categories resulting from lower replenishment orders, increased shapewear competition at a chain customer as well as a decrease resulting from the initial shipments for the Jennifer Lopez brand which occurred in 2012. Somewhat offsetting this decline was improved replenishment at a mid-tier department store customer.

Mass merchant channel net sales decreased 1% to $47.7 million for the quarter resulting from lower strapless bra replenishment orders and lower replenishment orders on new introductions. The decrease was predominately offset by increased sales in the bra and shapewear categories at its other mass customers, including shapewear rebranding initiatives at a warehouse club customer.

Total retail segment net sales decreased 3.1% to $15.6 million. Same-store sales, defined as outlet stores that have been open for more than one year, increased 1.5%. Internet sales remained unchanged at $2.3 million for the quarter. The retail segment operated 68 outlet stores as of the end of the second quarter 2013 and 75 outlet stores as of the end of the second quarter of 2012.

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Former Brooks Brothers exec to head The Limited

BY CSA STAFF

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Limited has appointed former Brooks Brothers executive Diane Ellis as the company’s CEO, effective August 26.

Ellis was president and chief operating officer of Brooks Brothers for six years. She oversaw information technology, human resources, retail and outlet stores, planning and allocation, product development, sourcing, supply chain, e-commerce and finance.

Prior to Brooks Brothers, she was a founding partner of Lighthouse Retail Group, managing director for the retail strategy practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers and director of merchandise planning, allocation and inventory control at Filene’s. Ellis also served in merchandising, planning, strategy, buying and store management roles at Marshalls and Joseph Horne’s department stores.

“Diane brings an impressive track record of success in both specialty retail and mass retail. Her expertise in consumer behavior, branding and store operations will add energy and momentum to the exciting initiatives underway at The Limited,” said Scott King, senior managing director of Sun Capital Partners and board member of The Limited. “We are excited to have Diane join The Limited.”

The announcement follows on the heels of the company’s plans to grow its store base in 2013 and extend its reach in the outlet segment. The company plans to open four outlet stores and eight traditional format stores this year. This year also marks the company’s sixth consecutive year of store growth. Including those opening this year, the company has added 68 new stores to its network since 2008. Today, the company operates 259 locations across the country.

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