REAL ESTATE

West Elm makes Missouri debut in St. Louis

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Brooklyn, N.Y. — West Elm is opening its first location in Missouri – at the St. Louis Galleria.

The 8,385-sq.-ft. store, slated to open in July, will incorporate works by local artists as part of its plan to support St. Louis talent.

“Our customers are as passionate about supporting artists in their local communities as we are at West Elm,” said Jim Brett, president of West Elm. “We are proud to be incorporating some of St. Louis’ most talented artists into the assortment for our new store.”

Like its other stores, the St. Louis store will feature the West Elm Design Lab, which allows customers to develop their own personal style through mood boards, make a floor plan, style their space, or tap into local recommended designs.

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OPERATIONS

Zimmer absent from latest Mens Wearhouse ad

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Houston — Mens Wearhouse estranged founder George Zimmer is noticeably absent from the chain’s latest commercial, which launched in print and broadcast on July 8.

According to a Reuters report, the new ad focuses on the company’s National Suit Drive, an annual charity event that donated suits to unemployed men who are looking to get back in the workforce. Zimmer and his signature phrase — "You’re going to like the way you look. I guarantee it," — are nowhere to be found.

Zimmer, 64, was ousted in June as executive chairman after he engaged in a dispute with the board over the company’s structure and strategies.

Neither Zimmer nor Men’s Wearhouse has commented on the new marketing direction.

Men’s Wearhouse has the option to bring Zimmer back as a spokesman for the brand; the company has a licensing agreement with Zimmer who will receive $250,000 for each of the next four years, should they use his image in its advertising.

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FINANCE

Krispy Kreme announces $50 million share repurchase authorization

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Winston-Salem, N.C. — Krispy Kreme Doughnuts said its board has approved the repurchase of up to $50 million of the company’s common stock, effective immediately.

The company also announced that it has refinanced its secured credit facilities and retired in full the $22 million outstanding balance of its term loan.

The $50 million share repurchase program, according to Krispy Kreme, will be implemented through purchases made in either open market or private transactions. As of July 12, the company had approximately 66 million shares outstanding.

"Having completed a $20 million share repurchase program last year, we view this $50 million additional repurchase authorization as a further indication of Krispy Kreme’s financial strength, our outstanding free cash flow generation, and our positive outlook for the future," said James H. Morgan, president and CEO. “The repurchase authorization announced today reflects our desire to further enhance shareholder returns when our cash flow generation is excess to our current needs and when doing so is in the best interests of our shareholders."

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