MCNABB BACK TO FACTORY 2-U: Factory 2-U Stores Inc. has brought Mary McNabb out of retirement to serve again as executive vice president of merchandising. McNabb, 53, formerly executive vice president of merchandising and marketing for Factory 2-U, succeeds Mary Kwan, who left last May for family reasons, according to the retailer. As reported, the 257-unit off-price chain is seeking a replacement for Michael Searles, president and chief executive. Searles in August said he would stay with the chain until a successor is found. The company has been struggling with poor results recently. It sells branded casual apparel for the family, as well as selected domestics and household merchandise.

AVON REASSERTS: Avon Products Inc. maintained its third-quarter earnings estimates of 47 cents a share, before a special charge of 10 to 20 cents for its business transformation initiatives. Sales in local currencies are slated for a double-digit uptick compared with a year ago, driven by improvements in unit volume and the number of active representatives. For the full year, the direct beauty merchant is looking for EPS of $2.30, before charges.

HDP SELLS AGAIN: Holding di Partecipazioni Industriali said its GFT Net unit has sold its Chinese subsidiary Tianjin Jin Tak to Ample Sino, an Italianfirm, for $375,000. The Chinese operationmade men’s wear for all of GFT Net’s divisions, and at one time held the license for Pierre Cardin men’s wear. HdP is selling off all its fashion and textile interests, and its main fashion assets at this point are Joseph Abboud and Fila. As reported Tuesday, VF Corp. and HdP are said to be in talks about Fila.

FATH FACTS: Celine Toledano has joined Jacques Fath as managing director, a new post. She reports to Mounir Moufarrigé, chief executive of Fath parent France Luxury Group, an upstart fashion conglomerate that also comprises Scherrer, Emannuelle Khanh and the shoe firm Harel. Previously, Toledano was head of the women’s collection at Nina Ricci. She has also worked at Céline and Karl Lagerfeld.

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