OPERATIONS

Survey: Fewer people applying for retail jobs

BY Marianne Wilson

Chemsford, Mass. –Fewer people applied for jobs in the retail sector in June, according to the July Kronos Retail Labor Index. The July report includes data for June 2011.

The number of applications received by retailers in the Kronos sample fell sharply in June 2011, to just 900,164 from a revised 1,149,879 in May, all on a seasonally adjusted basis. This was the lowest number of applications received since November 2007 and nearly 17% below its level one year ago.

“While hiring did decline in June, it remains well above levels seen near the end of the recession and during the early recovery period,” said Chris Varvares, senior managing director and co-founder, Macroeconomic Advisers, which prepares the analysis and write-up for the Kronos report.

Varvares noted that the recovery in hiring has slowed in recent months, with firms hiring just 6% more workers in June than they did this time last year.

“This is reflective of the deceleration in total payrolls seen nationally the past few months, as well as the recent slowing in the growth of retail sales,” he said. “We look for these trends to reverse, with both payrolls and retail sales expected to accelerate over the second half of this year."

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OPERATIONS

Report: Liz Claiborne in talks to sell Mexx

BY Staff Writer

New York — Liz Claiborne Inc. is looking to sell its Mexx apparel brand to a private-equity firm, according to Bloomberg. Leonard Green & Partners, Sun Capital and Golden Gate Capital are among the firms that have shown an interested in Mexx, the report said.

Final bids are due within a few weeks with a sale expected to be completed in September, Bloomberg said.

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President of Build-A-Bear Workshop to retire

BY Staff Writer

New York — John Haugh announced that he plans to retire as president of Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc., effective July 22, according to a company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A successor has not yet been named.

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