FAST FORWARD: Swedish retailer Hennes & Mauritz on Tuesday said group sales rose 8 percent in September compared with the same period last year. H&M sales increased 34 percent in September 2001. The firm did not break down sales on a same-store basis.

FILA CFO: Fila has named Bruno Tufari as its new chief financial officer. Tufari replaces Enzio Bermani, who came out of retirement to serve as interim cfo at the end of June. Bermani will remain on the board. Prior to joining Fila, Tufari was vice president of finance and administration at technology firm Getronics Solutions Italia. As reported, Holding di Partecipazioni Industriali has been trying to sell money-losing Fila for more than a year. HdP has said it is talking to several prospective buyers including VF Corp.

WINDING DOWN FINANCING: Ames Department Stores Inc., which is liquidating its operations, on Tuesday received Manhattan bankruptcy court approval of $30 million of a new $100 million debtor-in-possession financing facility to help it finish winding down. Kimco Funding, which already provided the company with a $55 million term loan earlier in its Chapter 11 case, will provide the loan. Ames said the new financing will help pay real estate carrying costs and pay the amounts due under the original Kimco DIP loan. A hearing is set for Oct. 23 for the balance of the $100 million request.

Searle’s seventh: Searle plans to open on Oct. 23 its seventh retail location, a two-story unit at 156 Fifth Avenue in the FlatIron district here. Searle signed the lease last Friday, said David Lazar, director of retail for Searle. He said the location, formerly occupied by Country Road, is in excellent condition and does not need refurbishing to operate. Garrick-Aug retail real estate brokers, led by Faith Hope Consolo, vice chairman, and Joseph A. Aquino, managing director, arranged the leasing. The store, between 20th and 21st Streets, has 7,200 square feet for selling, and a total of 10,000 square feet. Searle’s other six locations are all in Manhattan.

MEDIA MOVES: The Hearst Corp. named Eve Burton, 43, as vice president and general counsel designate Tuesday. Burton most recently served in the same capacity at CNN from 2000-01. She succeeds Jonathan E. Thackeray, 66, who is retiring. Elsewhere, Amy Synnott has been promoted to beauty news director at In Style Magazine. Synnott has been senior beauty editor at In Style since June 2000. Also, Valerie Latona has been named beauty director of Self magazine. She succeeds Anne Breza, who is moving to California. Most recently, Latona was beauty director at Shape. She starts Oct. 28

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