NEW CFO FOR JONES DENIM: Tami Fersko has been named chief financial officer of Jones Apparel Group’s denim-based collection business. She oversees the financial business for the denim-based collections, comprising Polo Jeans Co., LEI and Sun Apparel. Fersko joined Jones in 1998 when it acquired Sun Apparel, where she most recently was senior vice president of operations and finance. In another move, the company promoted Joe Kaelin to controller. He reports to Fersko. Kaelin most recently served as accounting manager for the Sun division.
This story first appeared in the November 8, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
FIELDS 2 FACTORY: Factory 2-U Stores Inc. has named William Fields chairman and chief executive officer. He succeeds Mike Searles, who has held the president and ceo positions since March 1998 and the chairmanship since November of that year. Fields, 53, has an extensive background that includes serving as president and ceo of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. from 1993 to 1996, and most recently, serving as chairman and ceo of Blockbuster Entertainment Group from 1996 to 1997. Having originally joined Wal-Mart in 1971 as an assistant store manager, Fields held various management positions for 24 years, culminating in his stewardship of the company. During his tenure, Fields oversaw more than 2,000 stores and 600,000 employees while growing Wal-Mart to more than $70 billion in sales from $40 million. Fields’ other experience includes the positions of president and ceo of the Hudson’s Bay Company from 1997 to 1999, as well as chairman and chief executive officer of Apec China Asset Management Ltd. from 1999 until October 2002.
ASHLEY TO SHUTTER STORES: In a bid to stem losses in continental Europe, Laura Ashley Holdings PLC will close five stores in France and six in Germany. In a statement Thursday, the company also said it plans to reduce the number of new stores slated for opening in the U.K. for the remainder of this year and next year. This year, 16 stores will have opened. The firm did not reveal how many stores had been planned. The store closings will result in an exceptional charge of $1.6 million for the year ended Jan. 25. The company said for the six weeks ended Nov. 2, total same-store sales rose 7 percent, while fashion sales pumped up 17 percent.