BOARD TALK: PPR — reconfiguring its corporate governance in the wake of February’s appointment of François-Henri Pinault as its chief executive — said Tuesday it would streamline down to a single board from the current supervisory board and management board. The nine members, all on the current supervisory board, are Pinault, Patricia Barbizet, René Barbier de la Serre, Pierre Bellon, Allan Chapin, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, Anthony Hamilton, Philippe Lagayette and Baudouin Prot. PPR shareholders will be asked to approve the new board, five of whom are considered independent, at the company’s annual meeting May 19. PPR also plans to name founder François Pinault as the group’s honorary chairman. Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for Artemis, the Pinault family holding that controls PPR, declined to comment on Italian press reports that say it is interested in buying the historic Palazzo Grassi in Venice, presumably to house Pinault’s planned contemporary art foundation. Rumors about the foundation’s future have swirled since March, when construction of the museum on Ile Seguin outside of Paris hit a legal snag.
BURBERRY HEADS EAST: Burberry pushed further into the Far East last month with a new store in Beijing and a shop-in-shop opening at South Korea’s Avenuel department store in Seoul. In China, the 7,141-square-foot store carries the Burberry Prorsum collection for women, the Burberry London collection for women and men as well as accessories, baby and children’s wear, fragrance, home and gifts. It is located on the ground floor of the Beijing Oriental Plaza in the Dong Cheng district. “Burberry’s presence in this prime location reflects the brand’s strategy of retail expansion in key targeted areas globally,” said Burberry chief executive Rose Marie Bravo in a statement. There is limestone flooring and dark and natural oak used throughout the store. All furniture has been custom-designed using Burberry icons such as the trademark check and the trenchcoat as inspiration. Plasma video units will screen the latest Burberry Prorsum runway show. In South Korea, the 1,992-square-foot shop-in-shop spans two floors and carries the full Burberry London clothing and accessories collection for men and women.
ARDEN HQ ON THE BLOCK: Elizabeth Arden Inc. has put its 13-acre Miami Lakes, Fla., headquarters up for sale. The company signed an agreement with Nina Elazar to sell the site, which will be listed on the market for between $10.3 million and $12.2 million. The new buyer will have a 75-day inspection period, during which they can terminate the agreement.
This story first appeared in the April 6, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.