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In Brief: Sara Lee to Take Charge … Kellwood Hire … Burma Ban …

General news from around the globe

SARA LEE TO TAKE CHARGE: Sara Lee Corp. warned Wall Street Wednesday that it would take a pretax charge of $122 million in its fiscal fourth quarter relating to the streamlining of its business announced earlier this year. “We are making the tough choices necessary to improve operational efficiency, reduce our cost structure and move the company forward,” said Brenda C. Barnes, president and chief executive officer of Sara Lee, in a statement. The charge includes $113 million worth of severance payouts due to the termination of 1,956 employees from its branded apparel, beverage and household products units. About $9 million of the charge relates to exiting leases and other contracts. “All of these actions will result in cash expenditures and are expected to be completed in fiscal 2006,” the company said. “The after-tax impact of this charge is $81 million.”

KELLWOOD HIRE: Melanie Reichler has been named senior vice president of sourcing for Kellwood Co.’s Sag Harbor brand. She succeeds Gary Jastrow, formerly senior vice president of manufacturing, who left the company. Reichler was vice president of manufacturing at Michael Kors. Before that, she was senior vice president of manufacturing at Tommy Hilfiger women’s. She also held executive posts with DKNY Jeans, Polo Jeans Co., Liz Claiborne and Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. Based in New York, Reichler reports to Paul Robb, chief executive officer of Sag Harbor.

BURMA BAN: The Senate voted 97-1 Tuesday to extend a ban on all U.S. imports from Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, after House approval of the ban on June 21. President Bush signed a bill banning all imports — the bulk were garments — in July 2003 in response to a crackdown by the country’s military dictatorship on the democratically elected opposition. Deteriorating human rights conditions had prompted U.S. retailers and apparel importers to voluntarily halt business with Myanmar, where the military invested in garment production.

QUIKSILVER VOLLEY: Quiksilver Inc. has signed a deal with the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour to sponsor the AVP’s first youth initiative. Quiksilver will sponsor 20 youth events around the U.S., including clinics, camps and tournaments, and will also have co-branded products on site at each event.