VF’S EARLY CLOSE: VF Corp. said Tuesday that, with the waiting period under federal antitrust law in connection to its merger with Nautica Enterprises having expired on Aug. 15, it now expects to close on its $586 million deal nearly two months earlier than planned. It expects a done deal shortly after a vote by Nautica shareholders on Aug. 27. The requisite waiting period under similar federal law in connection with VF’s purchase of David Chu and Co. Inc.’s rights to receive 50 percent of the net royalty income from licensing the Nautica trademark is set to expire at 11:59 p.m. Thursday, according to VF.

UNIFORM BEHAVIOR: Ben Sherman will be on board when the Maritime Hotel bows in Chelsea at the end of the month. The hotel staff will be decked out in Sherman’s nautical-inspired powder blue uniforms, and employees at the Maritime’s Italian and sushi restaurants will wear slightly updated similar attire. Also on Sherman’s plate are sporty, sophisticated uniforms for the 70 people who work at Butter, including the busboys. Waitresses are donning his low-waisted stretch pants and gauzy shirts, and hostesses will go with similar tops paired with skirts. Sherman, which replaces Ted Baker as the restaurant’s official outfitter, isn’t the only new party at Butter. Alexandra Guarnaschelli has taken over as executive chef.

RIPE FOR THE PICKING: The U.K. store selling spree is showing no signs of abating. The latest retailer to show up on investors’ radar screens is House of Fraser. Sources in London say Terry Green, the former chief executive of Debenhams, is mulling a possible takeover bid for House of Fraser plc department store group. Green’s company, Scarlett Retail, is understood to have approached Scottish retail entrepreneur Tom Hunter about buying his 6.9 percent holding in the department store. Scarlett Retail owns the U.K. department store group, Allders, and is backed by the property group, Minerva. Sources say Green plans to use Hunter’s stake as a platform to launch an offer for the store. Minerva could not be reached for comment, while a spokesman for House of Fraser declined to comment. Allders and House of Fraser tried to merge twice before, but were unable to agree on a price.

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