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Report: Actor settles discrimination suit with Macy’s

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Rob Brown, an actor best known for his role on the HBO series “Treme,” has reportedly settled a discrimination lawsuit against Macy’s and the city of New York. According to Reuters, Brown’s suit accused three Macy’s security guards in a New York store of handcuffing him, publicly accusing him of credit card fraud, and marching him through the store before harassing and mocking him in a detention cell for an hour in a June 2013 incident.

The incident happened following Brown, who is African-American, presenting his mother with a $1,300 gold watch he had just purchased in the store. Brown’s suit also alleged that once the guards learned who he was they changed tone and offered to get him a police escort to his mother’s college graduation. The suit also charged New York City with racial profiling violations.

Settlement was for undisclosed terms. Three other similar discrimination suits are currently pending against Macy’s. In a statement, the company said it has zero tolerance for racial profiling by its personnel.

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Arba Retail Systems launches POS for Microsoft Surface Pro 3

BY Dan Berthiaume

Naperville, Ill. – Arba Retail Systems has released a new mobile POS solution. Built specifically for Microsoft Surface tablet series, this retail management software is compatible with the latest Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Tablet.

The retail version is designed for both single unit and chain stores. The software is built on the latest Microsoft technologies — .NET and MS SQL Server, and compatible with the Windows 8 OS.

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Genius Brands bolsters global consumer products business

BY CSA STAFF

Genius Brands International, a global brand management company that develops “content with a purpose” for toddlers to tweens, continues to build its global licensing structure with the appointment of industry veteran Stone Newman to the newly created post of president, global consumer products.

In this newly formed executive leadership role, Newman will work with retailers and licensees to build comprehensive consumer products programs for each of the company’s brands, including Baby Genius, Secret Millionaires Club, Stan Lee’s Mighty 7 (SLAM 7) and Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab. He will also appoint and oversee a team of leading licensing agencies from around the world to operate as sub agents.

In addition to assuming responsibility for GBI’s existing brands, Newman will continue to manage licensing programs represented by his former company, Art + Science International, including Psycho Bunny, From Frank, Celessence Technologies, WowWee brands, ElectroKidz, MIP and Archie Comics. These brands will now be managed under GBI’s wholly owned subsidiary, A Squared Entertainment, which manages properties that fall outside of GBI’s core mission.

“Stone is the missing link we have been searching for to lead GBI’s consumer products business. He knows the business very well; has excellent relationships in all sectors; and most importantly, he is dynamic and passionate about what he does and brings tremendous energy and innovation,” said president Amy Moynihan Heyward, to whom Newman will report. “We are thrilled to welcome him to GBI, and also excited about the terrific brands he is bringing that will now be part of the GBI business.”

"The underlying GBI brands’ message of Content with a Purpose is an amazing platform from which to extend a unique and differentiated global licensing and merchandising program around the idea of Product with a Purpose. It is a privilege and an honor to be entrusted with these brands and leading this development on behalf of GBI," added Newman. "The opportunity to partner with first class thinkers and world class executers like Amy and Andy is once in a lifetime, and I am thrilled to join the team."

Newman joins Genius Brands International from Art + Science International, a boutique licensing agency he founded. Representing numerous technology companies, fine artists, fashion and character brands, including Psycho Bunny, From Frank, Celessence, Puff the Magic Dragon and ElectroKidz, Newman provided guidance and facilitation of business planning, equity raising, licensing, marketing and product development, as well as retail initiatives. Among the firm’s many achievements was the branded licensing program for Celessence Technologies, the world’s leading microencapsulation company, which Newman led from obscurity to more than $50MM in retail sales through 20 licensees in just three years. The company also represented The Alex Beard Studio, Callaway Arts & Entertainment, Giftventure Studios, GoAnimate.com and MarVista Entertainment, handling the licensing and retail relationship for its hit Disney film release, 16 Wishes.

Newman also founded and built Sababa Toys from a startup into a $30MM toy and game manufacturer with product presence in more than 50,000 retail stores. He also worked in marketing and licensing at Hasbro Toys and got his start as a yoyo demonstrator and sales associate at the storied FAO Schwarz flagship store on New York’s 5th Avenue.

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