ULRICH’S PAYDAY: Target Corp.’s chairman and chief executive, Robert Ulrich, took home a total of $7 million last year, a 15.4 percent increase, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. While the executive’s base salary inched up only slightly to $1.4 million, his bonus weighed in at $4.6 million, or 24.3 percent higher than in 2001. Other compensation also rose modestly to $947,000. Last year was also an up year for Target’s vital financial statistics as earnings shot ahead 20.9 percent to $1.65 billion, or $1.81 a diluted share. Revenues advanced 10.3 percent to $43.92 billion.
LACROIX LINGERIE: Christian Lacroix, the French couturier known for his lavish ornamentation and vivid color, is set to apply his rich aesthetic to lingerie. The designer on Monday announced a five-year licensing deal with Societe Internationale de Lingerie, or SIL, to produce Lacroix-branded innerwear. The collection, a first for Lacroix in the category, will bow at retail for spring 2004. SIL already produces lingerie under license for Christian Dior and Cacharel.
WTO RULES FOR U.S.: A World Trade Organization dispute panel has issued a preliminary ruling against India in a complaint that alleges U.S. rules of origin for textiles and apparel products break global trade rules, according to sources in Geneva. The ruling could have ramifications on the current round of global trade talks in the WTO in the area of harmonizing rules of origin, which India strongly advocates. A final ruling on the complaint is expected to be issued in early May, at which time India is expected to file an appeal. India’s complaint charges that U.S. rules of origin treat textiles and apparel differently from other industrial products and that within the sector, varieties of goods that are produced by similar means are treated differently. Indian officials also claim the rules unfairly favor European Union imports and were crafted to protect the U.S. textile industry.
TROUBLE IN TOYLAND: FAO Inc. has hit a financing snag that might affect Saks Inc. The bankrupt toy retailer, which runs the FAO Schwarz chain, reported Monday that it lost its exit financing after “unexpected complications” led purchasers of its equity to withdraw. Saks in February said it planned to take a minority stake in the firm and would then open up licensed shops inside Saks department stores. Terms were not disclosed. Goods were to hit the stores by holiday 2003.