FINANCE

SEC files lawsuit against former Carter’s exec over fraudulent discounts

BY CSA STAFF

Atlanta -U.S. regulators have sued a former sales executive at Carter’s Inc., claiming that he caused the company to misstate earnings by hiding the cost of discounts given to a retailer.

According to a Monday report by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Joseph Elles induced Kohl’s Corp. to boost purchases from Carter’s from 2004 to March 2009 by granting unauthorized discounts that he didn’t disclose.

Elles allegedly got Kohl’s to defer the discounts until later quarters, causing Carter’s to report the increase in sales without disclosing the related expense, the SEC said. The executive, who was terminated by Carter’s last year, also directed an assistant to create false tracking sheets for the firm’s accounting department and signed memos to the CFO that misrepresented the cost of the discounts.

The SEC also sued Elles for insider trading, claiming he reaped $4.7 million in profits by selling options before the company disclosed the alleged fraud in October 2009.

The agency agreed not to sue Carter’s as a result of the company’s “prompt and complete self-reporting” and extensive remedial actions.

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News

Quiksilver taps Red Door Interactive for new launch

BY CSA STAFF

San Diego -Internet presence management firm Red Door Interactive said Monday that Quiksilver has selected it to help launch its new line of girls’ apparel and accessories.

According to Red Door, the fashion and action sports brand will implement an internet presence strategy, developed and executed by Red Door, designed to drive awareness and traffic to Quiksilver’s flagship stores and niche retailers by individuals who will engage with the brand.

"Developing this new line of clothing for younger girls has been in the works for some time, and it’s important that we bring in partners who understand the market and how best to communicate with this audience in such a way that will drive interest," said Kenna Florie, VP of Sales and Marketing for Quiksilver Women’s line. "We’ve found that partner in Red Door."

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STORE SPACES

Blockbuster to close 182 stores by early 2011

BY CSA STAFF

DallasBlockbuster said in a Friday filing that it plans to close 182 stores in the next few months as part of the movie rental company’s move to get its business back in shape in bankruptcy court.

Blockbuster, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September, has already closed more than 1,000 underperforming stores in the past two years. It had about 3,000 stores when it entered bankruptcy.

Originally, the company planned to keep the stores operating, but analysts anticipated hundreds of stores would eventually shut their doors.

The company revealed in documents filed in Manhattan bankruptcy court on Friday that it plans to close 72 stores before the end of the year and another 110 stores in the first few months of 2011. The store locations weren’t disclosed.

Blockbuster also said in the documents that it is renegotiating leases on stores it is looking to keep open.

Blockbuster is expected to emerge from bankruptcy protection later in 2011 under new owners led by billionaire investor Carl Icahn.

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