• WITT TO SEAN JOHN: Paul Witt, director of advertising and communications for the Diesel Group, will join Sean John as director of marketing/communications. He takes over the duties handled by Dao Yi Chow, formerly marketing director, who was promoted to creative director. Witt had spent eight years at Diesel, handling such brands as Diesel and its licensees, 55dsl, Diesel Kids and DieselStylelab. His successor hasn’t been named yet. Witt begins Jan. 12 and reports to Sean Jean and Jeff Tweedy, executive vice president. Among Sean John’s major initiatives over the next two years are the developments of a women’s line and fragrance, and the openings of retail stores.

  • MAY’S MATE: The May Department Stores Co. has completed its cash purchase of Gingiss Formalwear Inc. for $32 million in cash. The deal includes 125 Gingiss Formalwear and Gary’s Tux Shop stores and two Gingiss Group Service centers. Gingiss will be part of May’s growing bridal business, which includes David’s Bridal, Priscilla of Boston and After Hours Formalwear. In November, Gingiss, on the same day it revealed its acquisition, filed a voluntary Chapter 11 petition in a Delaware bankruptcy court. In 2003, May acquired 225 tuxedo stores, including Gingiss, 25 Modern Tuxedo stores and 64 Desmonds Formalwear stores. Originally, the purchase price for Gingiss was estimated to be about $23 million. “The links between our Bridal Group businesses and our department stores’ wedding registries are critical to our strategy of attracting young-adult customers to our department stores and especially to our home store,” Gene Kahn, May’s chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.

  • DONE DEAL: As expected, the TJX Cos. last week completed its acquisition of Bob’s Stores, the Meriden, Conn.-based moderate retail chain. As reported, Framingham, Mass.-based TJX, the nation’s largest off-price retailer with annual sales in excess of $12 billion, was the winning bidder in a court auction on Dec. 19 for the bankrupt 36-unit Bob’s Stores chain. The acquisition was approved by a U.S. bankruptcy court last Tuesday, which allowed TJX to complete the deal. TJX said it expects to pay less than $100 million for Bob’s assets, after adjustments for inventory and trade accounts payable.

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