• HOMEBODIES: Skittish shoppers are taking a toll on major retail chains, but Housing Works seems to be cashing in on consumers’ newfound thriftiness. Earlier this month, the company opened a TriBeCa store at 72 Warren Street, and late next month, its ninth store, a unit at 130 Crosby Street in New York, will bow. In addition, Sears and Kmart have signed up as sponsors of the nonprofit’s Design on a Dime charity event on May 7, which will feature 50 designers, including Charlotte Moss, John Bartlett and Ty Pennington, among others.
• HARPER QUITS THEO FENNELL: Pamela Harper has resigned as chief executive officer of Theo Fennell Plc, the London-based fine jewelry house, the company said Monday. Barbara Snoad — whom Harper had originally replaced in late 2007 — will assume Harper’s duties on an interim basis. Sources close to the company said it’s possible Snoad’s appointment could become permanent. Harper, a former Burberry executive, joined Fennell in 2007. The firm’s sales fell 21 percent during the five weeks of December, compared with the same period the previous year, and the company expects to take a loss for the 2008-09 fiscal period. Fennell has shelved plans for a New Bond Street store, and has not renewed its contracts to operate the luxury watch and fine jewelry concessions in Harrods or Brown Thomas in Dublin. Sources have said the company’s decision to no longer operate those departments will result in cash benefits totaling 3 million pounds, or $4.3 million. Fennell will continue to operate its own retail counters at Brown Thomas and Harrods.
Hermès is launching a Laundromat pop-up shop in NYC - dubbed Hermèsmatic - where customers can bring their old scarves to be dip-dyed by an expert. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews (📷: @donstahl)