URBAN RENEWAL: Looking to expand on its bond with hip-hop fashion fans, Kmart Corp. will test a new line of men’s urban sportswear in 50 stores in New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. The collection, under the Ched-da label, will include denim jackets, jeans, shorts, T-shirts and other knit tops and woven sport shirts available only at Kmart. The Troy, Mich.-based discounter has emphasized its links to Hispanic and African-American customers since filing Chapter 11 last January and, as reported, is building a stable of exclusive brands.
JONES ISSUES MEN’S LICENSE: Jones Apparel Group Inc. on Monday licensed to Sixty North America Holding Inc. the rights to manufacture and distribute men’s denim sportswear under the Energie and Energie Jeans X-Experience brands in the U.S. The collection, which will be targeted at upscale specialty stores and freestanding Energie stores, is to be introduced this fall. Jones owns the Energie trademark in the U.S.
LOEB HONORED: Retail consultant Walter F. Loeb on Monday was honored by the Departments of the Army and Air Force with the Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service Award, the highest award granted to civilian personnel by the secretary of both services. Loeb, who was presented his award at the Hall of Heroes in the Pentagon, was honored for his role as consultant to the Commander of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service over the past 12 years. AAFES is the nation’s 10th largest general merchandiser.