NEW YORK — Claire’s Stores Inc. on Tuesday named Jay Friedman president of its North American division.

This story first appeared in the January 5, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Friedman, the former president and chief executive officer of The Jones Group’s Nine West Group, will report to Gene Kahn, Claire’s ceo.

The post was last held by John Zimmermann, who resigned in July 2008.

Kahn said of Friedman, “Jay’s strong merchandising acumen, his product affinity, specialty store operations experience and broad background in several senior-level positions make him ideally suited to lead Claire’s North America and to actively participate in the continued development of our Icing brand.”

Claire’s bought the Icing franchise in 1996 after it went bankrupt and operates the units in North America.

Friedman will oversee buying, planning and allocation, supply chain and overall operations of Claire’s and Icing stores in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. He began his career in 1971 as an assistant buyer for Macy’s, where he worked for more than 20 years, eventually becoming senior vice president, general merchandise manager.  Friedman also worked as president of Footlocker USA and chief operating officer and president, wholesale, for Etienne Aigner.

Claire’s Stores’ sales rose 7.8 percent in the nine months ended October 30, compared to the same period in 2009. During that period, the retailer opened 398 stores, increasing its total to 3,369 units worldwide.

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