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In Brief: Jones Cleans Up … Parlux Mulls Sale … Jobs Cut At Sara Lee Apparel

A brief look at some of the day's stories.

JONES CLEANS UP: Jones Apparel Group Inc. will close the laundry, assembly and distribution operations in one of its denim manufacturing plants in San Luis, Mexico. All manufacturing will be consolidated into existing operations in Durango and Torreon, Mexico. Peter Boneparth, chairman and chief executive officer of Jones Apparel Group, said in a statement, “We conducted a detailed evaluation for the need to broaden our global sourcing capabilities, as the benefits of competitive pricing and fabrication options from Asia challenged the quicker turn and superior laundry capabilities from our Mexican manufacturing. We determined that centralization of our facilities to fully utilize manufacturing capacity, coupled with diversity in the sourcing model, was the best decision for our business and our shareholders.”

PARLUX MULLS SALE: Shares of Parlux Fragrances Inc. surged nearly 14 percent in trading Monday morning on news that the company may be for sale. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based firm, which holds the licenses to several celebrity fragrances, including Paris Hilton’s, Maria Sharapova’s and Andy Roddick’s, hired Citigroup Global Markets Inc. and Oppenheimer & Co. to evaluate strategic alternatives for the future of the business. Parlux shares closed Monday at $31.08, up 4.12 percent. Nearly 1.5 million shares changed hands, more than triple the company’s average trading volume.

JOBS CUT AT SARA LEE APPAREL: Sara Lee Corp. has eliminated 775 positions from its branded apparel division following an organizational review, the company said Monday. The cuts at Sara Lee Branded Apparel, which is expected to be spun off as an independent, publicly held company in 2006, will affect less than 2 percent of the division’s 45,000 employees. Sara Lee said 285 employees in the division’s U.S. headquarters accepted a voluntary transition program, some of whom will be replaced. The company said that it would add positions in the next few months to cover new functions after the spin-off. “Implementing the associated workforce reduction is a very difficult decision, but we believe these changes are unavoidable if the company is to flourish in the future,” said Lee A. Chaden, chief executive officer of Sara Lee Branded Apparel, in the statement.