Shares of Jones Apparel Group Inc. shot up $1.70, or 6.1 percent, to close at $29.40 in New York Stock Exchange action Tuesday after Merrill Lynch analyst Virginia Genereux, in a morning research note, upgraded the firm’s stock to “buy” from “neutral.” Genereux noted, “The ‘uncertainty overhang’ relating to the Polo [Ralph Lauren Corp.] licenses has been removed….Jones managed the Polo license situation extremely well from a shareholder perspective, and we think investors will come to view Jones’ exit from the Lauren business as a good thing.” She added, “Jones should be able to retain a material portion of the Lauren square footage, because department stores trust its expertise.” As reported, last week Jones walked away from the contested Lauren by Ralph Lauren license and sued Polo and former Jones president Jackwyn Nemerov.
CHANEL TAPS VAN CLEEF EXEC: Chanel Inc. has appointed Marc Hruschka as vice president for watches and fine jewelry. Hruschka, who begins at Chanel on Monday, joins from luxury jeweler Van Cleef & Arpels, where he held the post of vice president of retail merchandising, marketing, wholesale and communications. He succeeds Maggy Siegel, who left last February to become president and chief executive officer of the Judith Leiber brand. Hruschka will oversee the wholesale and retail businesses for Chanel’s watch and fine jewelry division. In the U.S., Chanel has eight fine jewelry and watch boutiques, including a unit on Madison Avenue in Manhattan and two in Hawaii.
FAKERS FOILED: Over 100,000 counterfeit Versace ready-to-wear items were confiscated Saturday in a massive seizure by federal and local authorities, in five counties in southern California, as well as in Fresno, Calif. and Phoenix. It was the biggest bust of fake Versace merchandise in the history of the fashion house. There were 75 seizures in different locations. News of the big bust was announced Tuesday by the U.S. Federal Marshall’s office in Los Angeles and by Gianni Versace SpA.