WTO GROWS PAST A GROSS: Armenia became the 145th member of the World Trade Organization on Wednesday. The country is a small supplier of apparel and textiles to the U.S. For the year ending Nov. 30, imports from Armenia totaled 4.1 million square meters equivalent. The majority of imports from Armenia are man-made fiber apparel.
DIFFA’S KICKOFF: The Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS will open its annual Elle Décor Dining by Design exhibition to the public on Saturday and Sunday, when the public can view table designs by Preston Bailey for Taittinger, ABC home, Margaret Russell for Elle Décor, Colin Cowie, Armani Casa, Ralph Lauren Home, Crate & Barrel and Coach. The exhibition, at 311 West 34th Street in the Manhattan Center, will be open from noon to 6 p.m. each day.
MAY CO. FINDS TWO FIELDS: The May Department Stores Co. will acquire two Marshall Field’s department store locations in Columbus, Ohio, from Target Corp. They are the 224,000-square-foot Tuttle Crossing store in suburban Columbus and the 198,000-square-foot City Center store in downtown Columbus. The transaction is expected to close in late-March. The stores will be converted to Kaufmann’s, a nameplate operated by May’s Filene’s/Kaufmann’s division, based in Boston. The two stores will stay closed for about two months for remerchandising, updating the fixtures and decor, installing point-of-sale and data systems, and for training associates. Kaufmann’s will offer employment to all active Marshall Field’s associates at Tuttle Crossing and City Center. Including the two newly acquired stores, May Co. plans to open 11 department stores in 2003.
PINTO TO CALVIN: Jennifer Pinto, manager of public relations at Gucci America, will join Calvin Klein Inc. Monday as director of public relations for women’s. She succeeds Molly Whelahan Drucker, who relocated to Boston. Pinto reports to Malcolm Carfrae, vice president of public relations at Calvin Klein. Pinto’s successor at Gucci has not yet been named.