Suit alleges Tiffany discrimination
New York – A group director for two Tiffany & Co. stores in Houston has filed a lawsuit alleging the retailer discriminates against African-Americans in hiring and promotions for management and executive-level jobs. A complaint filed by Michael McClure in federal court in New York on May 29 says that McClure is the only African-American holding one of 200 U.S. management-level positions at Tiffany, and that there are no African-American executives in the company.
McClure’s suit also claims that he unfairly received an unfair performance review and warning, and that he received an unsigned letter stating Anthony Ledru, Tiffany senior VP North America, had told other Tiffany employees he was surprised to see a black man representing the Tiffany brand. Media reports indicate Tiffany is denying all of McClure’s allegations.
Former Macy’s CEO Finkelstein dies
New York – Edward H. Finkelstein, former chairman and CEO of the company now known as Macy’s Inc., died of natural causes at his home in Thousand Oaks, California, on May 31. He was 89.
Finkelstein led Macy’s in the 1970s and 1980s and launched concepts including the Aeropostale apparel chain, which was later sold off, as well as several private brands. Finkelstein left the company in 1992 after 44 years, following a bankruptcy filing.
"Ed Finkelstein was an innovator who shall be remembered for his many important contributions in building the Macy’s brand over the decades,” said Terry Lundgren, Chairman and CEO of Macy’s Inc., in a statement. “His career was remarkable. The Macy’s Inc. team extends our heartfelt sympathies to the Finkelstein family.”
Gordmans seeks head merchant
Gordmans Stores is looking for a new head merchant — in addition to a permanent CEO – following the resignation of Michael Morand as EVP and chief merchandising officer.
The company said Morand resigned on May 28, the same day the operator of 94 stores, reported disappointing first quarter results and held its shareholders’ meeting. Gordman’s disclosed Morand’s departure in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, May 30. Interim CEO Scott King will oversee the retailer’s merchandising function until a replacement is named, the company said.
In other personnel moves, Jason Neimark resigned from the board of directors and was replaced by Brian Urbanek. Both men are affiliated with Sun Capital Partners, the private equity firm which owns a controlling interest in Gordmans. Urbanek previously served on the Gordmans board.
The off-price department store retailer is also searching for a full time CEO following the resignation earlier this year of Jeff Gordman amid ongoing sales challenges. Sales for the 13-week first quarter ended May 4 increased 8.8% to $143 million as the result of new store expansion. Same store sales declined 2.7% on top of a prior year decline of 10.5%. A loss of $700,000, or four cents a share, was well below a prior year profit of $3.2 million, or 17 cents a share. First quarter results were negatively affected by expenses of two cents a share related to the departure Gordman and a three cents a share impact due to increased interest expense related to a $45 million loan that was taken out last fall to pay a special dividend of $3.60.