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Report: Rona dealers critical of Lowe’s offer

BY Staff Writer

New York — A group of Rona Inc.’s dealers on Wednesday released an open letter on Wednesday that criticized the proposed takeover of the Canadian home-improvement retailer and distributor by Lowe’s Cos., Reuters reported.

The letter, which was addressed to Lowe’s CEO Robert Niblock, was signed by merchants that operate 164 affiliate or franchise Rona stores.

"We want to reinforce your view that it may not be a good idea for you to buy Rona, after you appeared to state your doubts about the deal on Monday, while you were announcing your financial results," the letter stated.

On Monday, the Lowe’s chief executive said a deal was "not imminent."

The take-over proposal has developed into an election issue in Quebec, the home province of Rona, with both the governing Liberal party and challenger Parti Quebecois criticizing the offer and promising new rules to crack down on foreign takeovers, Reuters reported.

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Long-time fashion retail exec named EVP of Aeropostale

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK — Aeropostale, a mall-based specialty retailer of casual and active apparel for young women and men, announced that Emilia Fabricant will be joining the company as EVP of the Aeropostale brand. Fabricant will be responsible for all aspects of design, merchandising and production for the brand, and will report to Thomas Johnson, CEO.

Johnson commented, "We are thrilled to have someone of Emilia’s caliber and talent join the Aeropostale team. Emilia has a proven track record of creating and executing the type of merchandise and operating strategies that will enable us to continue to evolve our brand. Emilia will be an incredible asset to our organization, and we look forward to her many contributions to our business."

Fabricant most recently served as president of Bebe Stores Inc. Prior to then, she served as president and chief merchandising officer of Charlotte Russe Inc. Earlier in her career, Fabricant founded Cadeau Maternity, also serving as its president and chief merchandising officer after the company was acquired by eStyle Inc. She began her merchandising career with Barneys New York Co Op, where she held a number of executive management positions of increasing responsibility, culminating with SVP, divisional merchandise manager and outlet division.

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Express slashes outlook despite Q2 income growth

BY CSA STAFF

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Express Inc. reported a 25% increase in net income for the second quarter. But the retailer slashed its profit outlook for the year and said that same-store sales barely rose last quarter and that it expects about the same for the rest of the year.

Express earned $15.8 million for the quarter ended July 28, better than analysts expected, compared with $12.6 million in the year-ago period.

Revenue increased 2% to $454.9 million, short of the $467 million analysts had expected. Same-store sales inched up 1%.

Express, which expects to end 2012 with 625 stores in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada, said it will open flagship stores in Times Square in New York and Union Square in San Francisco. The company also said it has signed its third international franchise agreement, this one in Mexico.

“We expect these flagship locations, scheduled to open by the fall of 2013, to serve as international gateways for our brand,” stated Michael Weiss, chairman, president, and CEO, Express.

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