Wet Seal Shuffles Leadership, Gets Funding
Foothill Ranch, Calif., Peter D. Whitford resigned from the posts of chairman and CEO of The Wet Seal Inc. today. The young women’s apparel retailer said Whitford resigned in order to give the company the flexibility to implement its business strategy, which involves forging strong financial and strategic partnerships.
Executive VP Joseph Deckop will serve Wet Seal as interim CEO. As chairman, Whitford will be succeeded by Henry Winterstern, a current board member of MGM Studios and Dick Clark Productions.
Also resigning from the Wet Seal board was Anne Zehren.
In other Wet Seal news, the retailer received $40 million in funding from a group consisting of SAC Capital Associates LLC and several other buyers.
Ritz Camera Refits Its POS
Beltsville, Md., Ritz Camera selected Datavantage Xstore as its new point-of-sale system. With 1,100 Ritz Camera Centers and 110 Boater’s World Marine Centers, the chain will use the new Java-based POS in both store formats on a Linux operating system and a PostgreSQL open-source database.
“Our existing POS had served us well over the years, but it lacks the flexibility and functionality available in an open-source, Java-based platform such as Xstore,” said Bob O’Hern, VP of Information Systems for Ritz Camera Centers.
Kmart Launches Rewards Card
Troy Mich., Kmart Holding Corp. today announced the launch of the Kmart Rewards credit card. The new credit-card program is being managed by HSBC—North America’s retail-services business. The card offers $10 off the first card purchase of $50 or more and a $10 reward for every $250 in account purchases thereafter. Customers will also be offered 90 days, same-as-cash financing on any purchase over $100 during the 2004 holiday season. “The Kmart Rewards credit card is an important tool in our efforts to retain and better serve our existing customers,” said Paul Guyardo, chief marketing officer of Kmart. “The Rewards card will provide valuable benefits and increased spending power both in our stores and on line, just in time for the holiday season.”