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Sixty Inks Retail Deal with Aldo for U.S. Unit

Italy’s Sixty SpA has signed an agreement with Aldo Group to oversee its retail division in the U.S.

Italy’s Sixty SpA has signed an agreement with Aldo Group to oversee its retail division in the U.S.

This story first appeared in the September 18, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“They’ve hired us to run their stores in the U.S. as their retail store portfolio managers,” said David Bensaboun, a vice president at the Montreal-based footwear and accessories firm.

The move will reduce infrastructure and operations expenses for Sixty, a premium denim and contemporary sportswear maker.

Word of job reductions at the New York headquarters has been circulating this week among employees of Sixty USA, and some of them already have begun sending out résumés. However, management has not made any announcements about operational changes to the U.S. business.

A spokeswoman for Sixty USA, which distributes the Miss Sixty, Energie, Sixty, Killah, RefrigiWear and Murphy & Nye labels, declined to comment.

The New York office of Sixty USA has been undergoing a significant downsizing this year due to the weak retail climate, with several key people leaving the company. Don Witkowski, the former chief executive officer of Sixty USA, exited that post earlier this year and is now heading up the launch of a new premium denim brand called Nine Days for Kemistre 8, owner of the Akademiks and Prps labels. He was replaced by Roberto Lorenzini, a former president of Versace’s U.S. retail operations, who joined Sixty USA as ceo in the summer. Lorenzini returned to New York on Thursday from a trip to Sixty headquarters in Italy.

Also leaving Sixty USA in recent months was Chris Hoffmann, previously vice president of sales, who is now working on the Nine Days launch with Witkowski.

Sixty USA recently closed two of its freestanding stores, in Dallas and the Ala Moana Center in Honolulu. It operates 14 full-price stores and six outlets, and wholesales to Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Lord & Taylor and many independent specialty retailers.