OPERATIONS

Wet Seal shareholder nominates new slate for board

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Foothill Ranch, Colo. — The Clinton Group Inc., a 7% shareholder in Wet Seal, made a formal request on Monday to replace most of the retailer’s current board of directors.

Clinton Group said its move is intended to shore up Wet Seal’s performance, which it believes is lacking. In August, the shareholder said it would solicit written consent from other shareholders to remove four of Wet Seal’s board members and replace them, as well as fill one vacant seat. The firm said that it wants to install new independent directors who will maximize Wet Seal’s value.

In a Monday letter to shareholders, Clinton Group reiterated its position that results have been disappointing but the potential still exists for success.

"We believe — and we mean no disrespect by this — that the current board simply does not have the skills set and experience required to expertly manage the strategy of the company or to reliably hire talented managers," Clinton Group senior portfolio manager Joseph A. DePerio said in a letter to shareholders.

The Clinton Group’s board nominees include: Raphael Benaroya, founder of the United Retail Group; Dorrit Bern, former chairman, president and CEO of Charming Shoppes Inc.; Lynda Davey, chairman and CEO of investment bank Avalon Group Ltd. and Avalon Securities Ltd.; Mindy Meads, former president and co-CEO of Aeropostale Inc.; and John Mills, president of consulting firm SDE.

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OPERATIONS

Gap Inc. names H&M designer as creative director for namesake brand

BY Staff Writer

San Francisco — Gap Inc. said Monday it has named Rebekka Bay as creative director and executive VP for Gap Global Design, effective Oct. 1.

Bay is most noted for conceptualizing, developing and launching the COS brand for Hennes & Mauritz. She spent five years as creative director at COS.

Bay will be responsible for Women’s, Men’s, 1969, Accessories and Body lines worldwide.

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OPERATIONS

Restoration Hardware rebrands as RH

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Corte Madera, Calif. — Restoration Hardware announced Monday it has rebranded the company as RH, in a move to better position itself as a multichannel operation.

According to RH creator Gary Friedman: "Today’s RH is a far cry from the hardware and nostalgic discovery item based business it once was. … The new branding positions us for the future and reflects our belief that we can curate a lifestyle beyond the four walls of the home."

The new branding, a collaboration between Marc Shillum, principal at Method, designer Robert Valentine and Friedman, will debut on the cover of the company’s fall 2012 catalogs and on its website.

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