WOLFORD WOES: Sales at luxury innerwear firm Wolford dropped 7 percent, to $61.8 million from $66.7 million, in the six months ended Oct. 31. The Bregenz, Austria-based company cited sluggish consumer spending and reorganization costs for the drop and said that, due to “strategic upgrading of the lingerie and swimwear lines,” advance orders for spring/summer 2003 merchandise had increased at a double-digit rate. Sales to department stores declined 3 percent and sales to multibrand stores were off 16 percent, while sales in its own boutiques dipped 4 percent. First-half profits are due on Dec. 11.
TIFFANY EXEC RESIGNS: Tiffany & Co. said Wednesday that Linda Hanson, senior vice president of merchandising, has resigned, effective Feb. 1, 2003. Michael J. Kowalski, Tiffany’s president and chief executive officer, said in a statement that all merchandising functions will report directly to him following Hanson’s departure. Hanson, a 13-year veteran of the company, will continue to consult for the firm. “We would prefer that she remain, but she in unshaken in her resolve to effect a professional and lifestyle change,” Kowalski said.
PREMIERE’S RECOVERY PROGRAM: Premiere, the struggling movie magazine owned by Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., has instituted some major changes in an effort to return to profitability. David J. Fishman, senior vice president of brand development of Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., has been named senior vice president and group publishing director, overseeing Premiere’s sales and marketing efforts. Continuing his role of running Hachette Enterprises, he will be responsible for further extending the Premiere brand through strategic alliances and licensing. Kim Pinto Korda continues as Premiere’s publisher. Beginning in February, Premiere will cut its frequency from 12 to 10 times per year and reduce its rate base to 500,000 from 600,000. At the same time, the magazine’s cover price will go up to $3.99 from $3.50. Through November, Premiere’s ad pages are down 11.3 percent to 354 ad pages, according to Media Industry Newsletter.
IT’S FUR CHARITY: Carla Fendi, celebrity dermatologist Patricia Wexler and Next Models owner Faith Kates Kogan will host a reception on Tuesday at the Fendi store to benefit the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, of which Kogan is president. A percentage of sales that evening and through Nov. 16 will be donated to OCRF. Expected guests include Fendi clients Nan Kempner, Vera Wang and Lil’ Kim, as well as Carla’s pal Woody Allen, who is just back in town from doing a saxophone concert in Rome, where he also attended the Fendi show.