OPERATIONS

Scott & Goble Architects renamed SGA Design Group

BY Staff Writer

Tulsa, Okla. — Scott & Goble Architects said Friday that it has been renamed SGA Design Group, effective immediately.

The firm operates offices in Bentonville, Ark., Berkley, Calif., and Los Angeles, in addition to its Tulsa headquarters.

Clients include Walmart, Kohl’s, Lowe’s, Sports Authority and Hobby Lobby.

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OPERATIONS

CEO of Claire’s Stores steps down

BY Marianne Wilson

Chicago — Claire’s Stores announced that Eugene S. Kahn has resigned. Kahn has served in the position since the company went private in 2007 in a $3.1 billion takeover by private-equity firm Apollo Management LP.

While the board will conduct a search for internal and external candidates, Claire’s Stores President James G. Conroy and Jay Friedman, president of Claire’s North American Division, will immediately form an interim office of the CEO.

"We thank Gene for his tireless efforts as CEO," chairman Peter P. Copses said in a statement. "Under Gene’s leadership, the Company has improved its merchandising, more clearly defined its target customers, embarked on a new store program in Europe, and launched its e-commerce site. We are fortunate to have a strong and deep team at Claire’s, and are confident in Jim and Jay’s ability to lead the company as the board conducts a search for a new CEO."

Claire’s also reported a 1.5% increase in consolidated same-store sales for November and December, with a 3.9% increase in North America and a 3% decline in Europe. The company operates operated 3,047 stores in North America and Europe, and also has franchised or licensed 381 stores in Japan, the Middle East, Turkey, Russia, Greece, Guatemala, Malta, Ukraine and Mexico.

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OPERATIONS

American Eagle launches global agency review

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Pittsburgh — American Eagle Outfitters said Friday that it has begun a search for a marketing communications agency partner or partners.

The scope of services, according to the retailer, will include traditional and digital media strategy, planning and execution, as well as collaboration in creative development for its American Eagle Outfitters, Aerie and 77kids brands in North America and internationally.

“Hiring an agency is a natural evolution in the growth of the AEO family of brands,” said Michael Leedy, CMO.

Ark Advisors of New York will manage the search and expects to conclude reviews in first quarter 2012.

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