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Tracy Gardner Named Delia’s CEO

Former J. Crew executive takes reins as first-quarter losses widen for chain.

Tracy Gardner’s climb up the corporate ladder at Delia’s Inc. has been swift — moving to chief executive officer from chief creative officer in a month.

The former J. Crew executive, who joined the company May 1, will assume the reins on Wednesday, taking over from Walter Killough, who will remain with the specialty retailer as chief operating officer under his existing employment agreement.

“While developing and executing a strategic plan will take time, I look forward to working with the team to build Delia’s into the brand we all know it can be,” Gardner said.

As incoming ceo, Gardner has her work cut out for her.

The retailer’s first-quarter net losses widened to $9.2 million, or 29 cents a diluted share, from $3.7 million, or 12 cents, a year earlier. Sales for the three months ended May 4 fell 14.6 percent to $35.2 million from $41.2 million.

Shares of the retailer fell 8 percent to 92 cents Thursday.

Delia’s is working with Janney Montgomery Scott to explore the possible disposition of its Alloy brand.