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Sycamore splits Jones Group into four businesses; CEO Card to step down

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Sycamore Partners announced that it has reorganized the remaining businesses of The Jones Group into four independent operating companies: the Nine West Group, a jeanswear company (which will be named later), Jones New York, and the Kasper Group. Each will operate as an independent company led by its own management team. In line with the new decentralized structure, Wesley R. Card will step down as CEO and John T. McClain will step down as CFO of The Jones Group

"We believe that this structure will allow each of these businesses to better serve their customers and achieve long-term success," said Stefan Kaluzny, a managing director of Sycamore Partners. "As independent companies, decision-making will be more closely aligned with the needs of the individual brands and our more than 10,000 associates around the world."
Kathy Nedorostek will be CEO of the Nine West Group, which will include footwear, handbags and jewelry.

Jack Gross, who has led the jeanswear business for the last 20 years, will be CEO of the jeanswear company.

Aru Kulkarni and George Sharp will continue to lead Jones New York and Gregg Marks will be CEO.

Sycamore Partners has previously announced that Stuart Weitzman and Kurt Geiger would each become independent companies.

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Chicken of the Sea names its mermaid after 60 years

BY CSA STAFF

Since making her debut on Chicken of the Sea labels in 1952, the mermaid has remained nameless. But to mark its centennial this year, the seafood brand invited consumers to submit suggested names to christen the icon for a chance to win $10,000.

Participants submitted more than 49,000 entries, the company confirmed. The winning name? Catalina.

The nationwide contest ran through Feb. 14 and the winning entry submitted by a contestant in Urbana, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus.

Inspired by the brand’s 100 Years of Good initiative, which is awarding 100 community-minded individuals and nonprofits $10,000 each in 2014 to empower them to continue their charitable ways, Peggy L., will receive her own $10,000 Great American Gratitude Award and be encouraged to also pay it forward. Ten first prize winners will be awarded Chicken of the Sea seafood for one year and 20 runners-up will receive a Chicken of the Sea-branded prize.

“The name Catalina encompasses everything we feel represents our brand,” Chicken of the Sea SVP of marketing Christie Fleming said of the name, which also is the name of a historic island 22 miles off the West Coast mainland and close to Chicken of the Sea’s headquarters in San Diego. “Along with it being a naturally beautiful name suitable for our mermaid, it connects to our rich local history, as well as the adventurous spirit and lifestyle indicative of both our brand and our Southern California home.”

Also to mark its centennial celebration, the brand kicked off its Great American Gratitude tour of 39 cities across the country through Labor Day. Throughout the tour, hosted by Catalina herself, Chicken of the Sea will be awarding a total of $1 million in pay-it-forward investments.

“Instead of just presenting our Name the Mermaid Contest winner with a check for $10,000, we’re encouraging her to honor the pay-it-forward spirit of our Centennial celebration and use the money to continue the cycle of good,” Fleming said.

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NRF wants establishment of retail information sharing and analysis center

BY CSA STAFF

The National Retail Federation today told a congressional panel that the retail industry is committed to safeguarding and protecting consumer data and information from highly motivated and sophisticated cybercriminals and hackers.

“Retailers make significant investments every year in order to protect [consumer] data,” NRF VP for retail technologies Tom Litchford testified. “Collectively, retailers spend billions of dollars annually to safeguard data and fight fraud, as well as hundreds of millions annually on [credit card security] compliance.”

Litchford testified before a field hearing of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies, where he outlined specific steps that the nation’s retailers are pursuing and implementing to identify, prevent and combat cyberattacks.

He described NRF’s steadfast support for immediately transitioning away from fraud-prone credit cards that utilize 1960s technology (magnetic-stripe and signature) to more advanced and secure cards that incorporate a Personal Identification Number or PIN, or Chip and PIN cards that include a computer microchip.

The organization posits that PIN-based cards, along with data encryption and tokenization, would help prevent cybercriminals from monetizing consumer financial information and provide better fraud protection for retailers, banks and consumers than proprietary Europay, MasterCard and Visa or EMV technology that does not require the use of a PIN.

“Chip and PIN technology dramatically reduces the value of any stolen ‘breached’ data for in-store purchases because the payment card data is essentially rendered worthless to criminals,” Litchford said. “The failure of U.S. card networks and banks to adopt such a system in the United States is one reason why cyberattacks on brick-and-mortar retailers have increased.”

Litchford went on to state that the nation’s retailers are pursuing the establishment of a Retail Information Sharing and Analysis Center, or Retail ISAC, that would provide retailers and merchants (NRF members and non-members) with actionable and timely threat intelligence to help identify and mitigate cyber risks.

“The retail industry is in a particularly good position to both benefit from and bring value to information sharing with outside organizations and entities,” Litchford said as he described NRF’s recent interaction with the United States Secret Service, United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, iSightPartners and the Financial Services ISAC on cyber threats.

“NRF is currently in the planning stages with respect to a final step in the development of the Retail ISAC: the establishment of the technological and operational infrastructure to support a secure portal through which members can share information,” Litchford said. “NRF’s goal is to allow credentialed [Retail ISAC] members to share information of varying levels of sensitivity anonymously, thus allowing the Retail ISAC to act as a repository of critical threat, vulnerability and incident information that is sourced from various members and outside organizations, and to facilitate peer-to-peer collaboration with the sharing of risk mitigation best practices and cybersecurity research papers.”

Acknowledging that there is no silver bullet to combating cybercrime, NRF called on Congress to support the retail industry’s efforts on data security and cybersecurity by passing the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (H.R. 624) or CISPA, which would further encourage businesses and retailers to share information across sectors on cyber threats in real time.

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