– WEST COAST CONNECTION: Puma will open Puma House LA, a 2,670-square-foot entertainment marketing operations office at 818 North La Brea in Los Angeles. When it opens in mid-May, the venue will be the third location of its kind for Puma worldwide, joining London and Tokyo, as a showroom to introduce clients, media, celebrities, musicians and industry partners to the sport-lifestyle brand. It will also be a home for the U.S. entertainment marketing team, which will include office head Ryan Babenzien, music marketing manager Ryan Ayanian and entertainment marketing manager Ed Choi.
– KIMMEL GIFT: Sidney Kimmel, chairman of Jones Apparel Group Inc., has pledged $25 million to the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, bringing his total support for the Philadelphia performing arts center to $60 million. The Kimmel Center’s board has pledged another $13.7 million, and announced gifts totaling $63.7 million — including its own and Kimmel’s — from area philanthropies, private donors and banks. The donations will help retire the center’s debt and strengthen its endowment, which will now total more than $72 million.
– STRATEGY CONFERENCE: Karabus Management, a consulting firm, will be hosting the Merchandising Insight 2008 conference focusing on assortment planning, markdown optimization and organizational design, running Wednesday to May 2 at the Soho Grand Hotel in New York. “In this current macroeconomic environment, where headwinds exist for many, the combination of disciplined inventory management with a localized, scientific approach helps maximize the margin opportunity,” said Antony Karabus, founder and chief executive officer.