NEW YORK — Mervyn’s has issued a search for a new leader, following the departure of its president, Diane Neal.
Two officials at the company said Neal’s last day was Friday, but they had no information on whether she was forced out or resigned.
A source outside the company said Herbert Mines Associates has been retained to search for a chief executive officer. Hal Reiter, ceo of Herbert Mines, could not be reached late Monday afternoon to confirm the report.
“They’re looking for a ceo to try to make the retail business work, but the investors have a safety valve in the real estate,” said a retail source. “That’s where the underlying value is.”
Last July, Target Corp. announced that it would sell Mervyn’s retail operation to a group of investors led by Sun Capital Partners Inc. and Cerberus Capital Management LP for $1.2 billion in cash. The deal was closed earlier this month. Target also sold Mervyn’s credit card receivables of $475 million to GE Consumer Finance .
The total price tag is about 10 times Mervyn’s pretax profits of $160 million. Target also named Lubert-Adler/Klaff and Partners LP as part of the “investment consortium” buying the nameplate.
Since the deal was closed earlier this month, more management changes are likely to occur.
Mervyn’s profits and market share have been shrinking amid tougher competition from other discounters, department stores and mass merchants, including Kohl’s, Wal-Mart and Federated Department Stores.
Mervyn’s is based in Hayward, Calif., and operates 257 stores in 13 states, mostly in the West and South. Mervyn’s sales for 2003 were $3.6 billion. The deal to the investment group includes Mervyn’s distribution centers.
Sun Capital has been active in the retail industry, with such prior acquisitions as Sam Goody, SunCoast, Media Play, Anchor Blue and Wickes Furniture.
Cerberus is considered a vulture fund, which has been making investments in distressed companies. Last year the firm bought Fila. Cerberus also bought or financed troubled companies such as specialty retailer G&G, textile supplier Guilford Mills and intimate apparel retailer Frederick’s of Hollywood.The investors could recoup their investment in Mervyn’s by selling off certain locations, while still maintaining a core retail operation in a strategy similar to Kmart’s. Edward Lampert, ceo of ESL Investments, bailed Kmart out of bankruptcy and became the majority shareholder and the chairman of the company and has been selling off locations while attempting to shore up the retail stores with improved merchandise, less clutter and easier-to-shop layouts in the stores.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)