MERVYNS STORE SALE: Developers Diversified Realty and Macquarie DDR Trust have formed a joint venture to purchase for $396.2 million the real estate underlying 36 open and operating Mervyns stores, the companies said on Monday. The deal is expected to close in mid-September, after which the joint venture will lease the assets back to Mervyns for 15 years at an annual rent of $30.5 million. Of the 36 sites sold, 25 are in California, followed by five in Arizona, five in Nevada and one site in Texas. Of the California stores, 12 are in Los Angeles, with San Francisco in second place with seven stores sold to the joint venture.
BLUEFLY’S WIDER LOSS: In the three months ended June 30, online off-price retailer Bluefly Inc. posted a net loss of $1.2 million, or 15 cents a share, which compares with a loss of $708,000, or 12 cents, in the second quarter last year, as total sales rose 26.7 percent to $12.03 million from $9.5 million. Even though gross profits rose 22.2 percent to $4.7 million from $3.8 million last year, the gross profit margin as a percent of sales declined to 38.7 percent from 40.1 percent. Separately, Bluefly said Ann Jackson, a partner a Ripplewood Holdings, a private equity fund, joined its board. Jackson was formerly group president of In Style, Real Simple, Parenting and Essence magazines, as well as founding publisher of In Style.
GRAFF TAPS STARK: British fine jewelry company Graff has appointed Linda Stark vice president of wholesale for the U.S. market. Stark began her new role this week, reporting to chief operating officer Colleen Caslin. Stark is responsible for overseeing the daily U.S. wholesale operations of Graff, including maintaining its exclusive department store distribution in Saks Fifth Avenue locations. Stark previously worked as vice president of design, product development and merchandising at Vera Wang Fine Jewelry, a position she held for nearly three years. She also has had management jobs at Harry Winston and Tiffany & Co.