MOTHER'S DAY MARCHERS: The United Food and Commercial Workers' Union will spend Mother's Day protesting outside four Wal-Mart and Kmart stores in California over health care reform.
The UFCW, a longstanding critic of the retailers' fierce opposition to employer-mandated health care, said Tuesday it would also be soliciting customers outside the stores to urge Congress to require business to shoulder some of the cost of health care.
"To honor our nation's mothers, we must remove forever a mother's fear that she won't have affordable health care for her family," the UFCW said. The protests will be staged in front of three Wal-Marts, located in Sante, Gilroy and Oxford. The Kmart protest will be outside its Buena Park store.
"While Wal-Mart and Kmart are happy to take money from us as customers, both corporations have taken positions that are killing affordable health care for our families," the UFCW argues.
SPECIALTY STOCKS: Kmart Corp. reiterated Monday that it will extract cash from its four specialty chains through the public sale of stock on each subsidiary, and provided details of the plan, which it announced in January.
As reported, the cash will help strengthen the Troy, Mich.-based company, which has recently been dragged down by its sagging discount store business.
Steven Kernkraut, an analyst at Bear Stearns & Co., said Kmart will use the money to pay down debt and refurbish stores to the Super Kmart Center format. He noted that Kmart is trying to establish itself as a discount store with a strong apparel presence, but faces tough competition from Wal-Mart, Target, Sears, Roebuck and J.C. Penney.
"Kmart's discount stores are critical to its future," Kernkraut said. "They've got the right strategy, and this offering should provide the cash to fix up the stores, but then we'll have to see how they execute the strategy on a day-to-day basis. That's when we'll see how Kmart will perform versus the competition."
The subsidiaries are Sports Authority Group, the Borders-Walden bookstore group, OfficeMax and Builders Square.
Kmart plans to begin the sale of the specialty business "target" stock immediately following shareholders' approval at its annual meeting, June 3. Stakes of 20 to 30 percent in the specialty chains will be sold. The target stock will be issued as a special series of Kmart stock.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews