DOM’S HONOR: Domenico De Sole, president and chief executive of Gucci Group, will receive the Georgetown University Award today in New York for his example of international business leadership. De Sole will receive the president’s medal from Georgetown University president John J. DeGioia at a gala at the Plaza Hotel, organized by the Georgetown University Wall Street Alliance. De Sole, whose two daughters attend Georgetown, has lectured at the university on international business and also, with his wife, Eleanore, established the Laura and Gaetano De Sole Professorship in Contemporary Italian Culture, named after his parents.



MOMMY AND ME: The Gymboree Corp. will enter women’s fashion in April by launching Janeville, a chain targeting women in their mid-30s and pursuing Chico’s and Talbots customers. “Janeville apparel will be modern, trend-infused and comfortable, and include novelty items as well as essentials,” the company said. Janeville is led by Kathy Lee, vice president and general merchandise manager, and Colleen Dowd Saglimbeni, director of design. The first three Janeville stores will open in April at Westfield Shoppingtown Valley Fair in Santa Clara, Calif.; Bellevue Square in Bellevue, Wash., and on Burlingame Avenue in Burlingame, Calif. About 10 stores are seen opening by yearend. Gymboree specializes in children’s apparel, accessories and developmental play programs.



Wal-Mart’s Hefty Dividend: Wal-Mart said Wednesday that it increased its quarterly dividend 4 cents to 13 cents, which will be paid to shareholders of record on April 15. The increase represents $2.2 billion in cash that will be returned to shareholders this year. George Strachan, equity analyst at Goldman Sachs, said in a research note that he believes Wal-Mart will generate more than $5 billion in free cash flow in fiscal year 2004, and between $5.5 billion and $6 billion in 2005. “This provides significant firepower to make acquisitions, buy back stock or for further dividend increases,” he said.

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