FINANCE

OfficeMax gets $72 million distribution from stake in Boise Cascade

BY Marianne Wilson

Naperville, Ill. — OfficeMax Inc. said Wednesday it received a $72 million cash distribution from Boise Cascade Holdings LLC, in which it has a minority stake.

OfficeMax owns about 20% of the voting equity securities of Boise Cascade, which went public in February. The company manufactures plywood and other building materials.

OfficeMax is in the process of merging with rival Office Depot.

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Alliance Data offers multichannel retailer credit card solution

BY CSA STAFF

Coldwater Creek, a leading multichannel retailer of women’s apparel, jewelry and accessories, is leveraging Alliance Data Systems Corporation’s Retail Services business to expand its co-branded credit card program and launch a Coldwater Creek private-label credit card program.

Alliance Data will provide end-to-end proprietary credit card services from account acquisition to multichannel marketing and customer service for Coldwater Creek. Furthermore, Alliance Data plans to acquire the existing co-brand credit card portfolio at a future date from the current issuer.

In addition to launching a new private label credit card program and providing co-brand credit card services integrated with the Coldwater Creek Rewards loyalty program, the multichannel retailer will use Alliance Data’s comprehensive suite of advanced analytics and multichannel marketing capabilities to help strengthen its relationship with customers across all sales channels. As part of the launch of the new Coldwater Creek Rewards platform, Alliance Data will introduce tools and technologies allowing unique communications with Coldwater Creek’s valued customers, fully leveraging a multichannel approach to drive a relevant cardholder experience. According to Alliance Data, these capabilities are designed to increase customer loyalty, enhance the shopping experience and ultimately drive incremental sales for the brand. Coldwater Creek will also use the data assets of Epsilon, another Alliance Data company, in support of the company’s prospect marketing efforts to drive customer acquisition.

“We are excited to partner with Alliance Data to leverage their expertise in delivering industry-leading credit and loyalty-based marketing programs to strengthen our customer relationships and drive sales,” said Jill Dean, president and CEO of Coldwater Creek. “Expanding our loyalty program is a key priority for our company, and we believe that the best way to strengthen brand loyalty and provide an improved shopping experience across all of our channels, is to offer our customers a choice of credit card options, both of which will be fully integrated with our rewards program.”

“Coldwater Creek maintains a special relationship with their customers, and we’re delighted to introduce innovative marketing and credit solutions that will help them get to know and reach their customers on an even deeper level,” said Melisa Miller, president of Alliance Data Retail Services. With a program strategy that deliberately includes both private label and co-brand credit products, we know we can deliver the right card to the right customer — helping to create stronger cardholder engagement and increase value to Coldwater Creek.”

Coldwater was founded in 1984 in Sandpoint, Idaho, and sells its merchandise through premium retail stores across the country, online and through its mobile applications.

Alliance Data Retail Services is a leading provider of branded credit card programs, with more than 120 marketing-driven private label, co-brand and commercial programs in partnership with many of North American brands. Alliance Data Retail Services creates turnkey, multichannel credit programs. It is part of the Alliance Data family of companies.

Alliance Data and its combined businesses provide transaction-based, data-driven marketing and loyalty solutions serving large, consumer-based industries. Alliance Data helps its clients create and increase customer loyalty through solutions that engage customers each day across multiple touchpoints using traditional, digital, mobile and other emerging technologies. Headquartered in Dallas, Alliance Data and its three businesses have approximately 11,000 employees at more than 70 locations worldwide.

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New CEO, exec team named at True Religion Apparel

BY CSA STAFF

VERNON, Calif. — True Religion Apparel has appointed David Conn as CEO. He will be joined by a new leadership team that, together with the company’s new owner, TowerBrook Capital Partners L.P., will be charged with guiding the company into its next phase of growth.

Conn joins from VF Corporation and has leadership experience in brand management and marketing in the apparel and footwear industries. Prior to his time as president of VF Retail Licensed Brands, Conn served as EVP of the Iconix Brand Group.

“I’ve admired True Religion for a long time and I’m thrilled to join such an exceptional team,” said Conn. I feel fortunate to have Lynne, Eric and TowerBrook as partners as we begin this new chapter for the company. I look forward to working with them and with the talented employees of True Religion to make a great company even stronger.”

Lynne Koplin, who served as interim CEO, has made the transition to a new role as chief merchandising officer, and Eric Bauer has been named as CFO and COO.

Koplin has been a member of the True Religion management team since 2010. In addition to her role as interim CEO, she has served as COO and president and has significant experience in product and store design, as well as retail merchandising. Bauer previously served as COO at the Children’s Place Retail Stores and as EVP, brand operations and COO of the Gap North America. As part of the transition, Pete Collins, who has served as the company’s CFO for six years, will exit the company.

“I am pleased to welcome David as the new CEO of True Religion,” said Andrew Rolfe, chairman of the board of True Religion and managing director of TowerBrook. “I am excited by the expertise that he, together with Lynne and Eric, bring to the company. The team we’ve brought together, led by David’s strong leadership and vision, will enable True Religion to accelerate its growth and realize its potential, both in the U.S. and internationally.”

True Religion Apparel, Inc. is a growing, design-based denim and denim-related sportswear brand. The company designs, manufactures and distributes True Religion Apparel products, including its True Religion brand jeans, sportswear and licensed accessories. True Religion products may be found in the company’s branded retail and outlet stores as well as contemporary department stores and boutiques in 50 countries on six continents. The company operates 130 stores in the U.S. and more than 33 international stores.

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