• WAL-MART APPOINTMENT: Wal-Mart has tapped Lee Culpepper, who heads its 12-person Washington, D.C., lobbying office, to become senior vice president, corporate affairs at the $352 billion retailer's Bentonville, Ark., headquarters. The position has been vacant since mid-December. Culpepper will report to Leslie Dach, a former Edelman public relations executive who is executive vice president of corporate and government relations. Culpepper will oversee all aspects of the retailer's reputation initiatives including research, advertising, grassroots outreach and local advocacy.

  • ESQUEL SCORES LEGAL VICTORY: A federal court judge in Seattle has ruled in favor of Esquel Group, the world's largest manufacturer of cotton shirts, based in Hong Kong, in a case that accused the company of infringing on patent rights. Taltech International, also a manufacturer of dress shirts, had accused Esquel of violating Taltech patents on a pucker-free garment seam for shirts. The judge ruled that Esquel did not infringe on the designs and declared that Taltech's patent was unenforceable and therefore invalid. Taltech was ordered to pay Esquel's legal fees.

  • INTERMIX HITS WINDY CITY: New York-based specialty retailer Intermix will open two locations in Chicago this spring — a 4,000-square-foot store in the city's Gold Coast neighborhood at Rush Street and Delaware Place later this month and a 2,500-square-foot store at 841 West Armitage Avenue in Lincoln Park in April. This marks the first time Intermix, which features lines such as Chloé, Stella McCartney and J Brand, has entered a city opening two stores almost simultaneously. Intermix, with 15 existing stores and a Web site, also plans to open in Austin, Tex., this spring.
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