FINANCE

Limited Brands sells remaining stake in namesake chain

BY CSA STAFF

Columbus, Ohio Limited Brands on Thursday sold its remaining 25% stake in its namesake chain Limited Stores to its majority owner for $32 million.

The New York Times first reported that the move could be formalized as early as Thursday.

The sale represents Limited Brands’ final transition from clothing to the more profitable goods sold at its other chains, namely beauty products and intimate apparel. Limited Brands operates Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works and Canadian lingerie chain La Senza.

The company sold its remaining 25% ownership stake to Sun Capital Partners, the private equity firm that took a 75% controlling interest in the chain in 2007.

The deal will give complete control of the 220-store chain to Sun Capital, a noted turnaround firm.

“The sale supports our focus on intimate apparel, personal care and beauty products,” said Limited Brands CEO Les Wexner. “We wish our long-time partners at Limited Stores continued success.”

Limited Brands will continue to provide logistics and sourcing services to the chain.

Limited Stores CEO Linda Heasley said the transaction is recognition of the successful effort to restart the brand since the initial sale in 2007. The chain plans to open 10 new stores this year and 20 in 2011.

Sun Capital invested $50 million into the business and secured access to $75 million in credit in 2007, which has allowed an expansion of the chain into e-commerce and new product lines as well as store remodeling and a move into a new headquarters in New Albany, Ohio.

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Whole Foods toughens personal-care organics policy

BY CSA STAFF

WASHINGTON According to The Organic Consumers Association, Whole Foods Market has introduced a new policy that states that it believes personal-care products that claim to be organic should meet the same standards as food products, which are currently regulated by the USDA’s national organic program.

“In the wake of the BP oil spill, Whole Foods’ announcement couldn’t come at a better time. Now more than ever, Americans are searching for alternatives to petro-chemicals, including in the bodycare aisle,” says Ronnie Cummins, co-founder and executive director of OCA. “The new Whole Foods policy is a major victory for people who want to stop washing petrochemical formulations all over their bodies and then down the drain.  These consumers want trusted options for real organic personal care. Whole Foods policy will force major organic cheater brands to drop organic claims from their branding and labeling.”

 

 

Whole Foods’ new policy mandates that “organic product” or “product made with organic [specified ingredients]” claims must be certified under the USDA National Organic Program, just like food.  A more limited “contains organic ingredients” claim for personal care may be certified under the NSF ANSI 305 standard, which has additional allowances for personal care products.  All organic claims which are not certified, including “organics” in branding must otherwise be dropped. Brands have been told they have until August 1 to explain how they will change their labeling or formulations to comply with the new standard. Those that don’t submit an explanation are expected to be dropped from store shelves over the coming year while those that comply will have until June 1, 2011 to be in full compliance with Whole Foods’ new policy, OCA reported.  

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RadioShack names SVP human resources

BY CSA STAFF

FORT WORTH, Texas RadioShack announced that Mary Ann Doran has been named SVP human resources. She is responsible for RadioShack’s overall policy and strategy related to human resources. Doran reports to Julian Day, chairman and CEO.

“We’re pleased to have Mary Ann join our leadership team,” Day said. “Her depth of retail experience and her passion for training and development will advance our commitment to delivering a smart, helpful in-store experience that addresses the changing needs of our customers and maintains The Shack’s leadership position in mobility.”

Doran joins RadioShack after serving as SVP human resources for Zale Corp. in Irving, Texas, where she had worked since 1996. Doran’s earlier experiences in human resources also include The Bombay Company, of Fort Worth, Texas, and the Jordan Marsh Stores Corp. of Boston, a regional department-store chain that ultimately joined the Macy’s organization.

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