PAMIDA PROMOTES: Regional discounter Pamida Holdings Corp. has promoted executive vice president Frank A. Washburn to the additional post of chief operating officer. In this role, Washburn is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the 149-unit chain. He is a 27-year veteran of the company.
Pamida has also promoted two operating vice presidents to senior vice presidents. Paul L. Knutson has been named senior vice president, human resources, and Kurt Streitz has been appointed senior vice president, chief information officer.
Pamida, based in Omaha, Neb., operates discount stores in 15 Midwestern, North Central and Rocky Mountain states.

HAWKING OUTLETS: A half dozen outlet mall developers have banded together with a handful of fashion vendors, including Liz Claiborne and Sara Lee Direct, to launch National Outlet Shopping Week. The first-time event, which began on April 7, promotes 223 outlet centers in the U.S. and Canada via celebrity appearances, entertainment, contests and a charity fund-raiser to support Mothers Against Drunk Driving. America’s outlet centers last year were visited by 500 million people, and produced sales of about $12 billion and sales taxes of around $464 million, according to J.P. Morgan’s Outlet Industry Update. As of Jan. 1, the 325 outlet centers in the U.S. employed roughly 135,000 people, with a total payroll estimated at $1.26 billion.

VENTURE FUNDS: Venture Stores has inked a new three-year credit line with Bankers Trust Commercial Corp. that increases the size of the facility to $250 million from $225 million.
The retailer said the larger facility, coupled with a more favorable advance rate, will provide over $30 million in additional funding during peak borrowing periods.
“As a result of this new long-term agreement, Venture will have significantly more cash available to finance the addition of new merchandise categories and the continued expansion of its successful departments,” said Robert N. Wildrick, chairman and chief executive officer.
The 113-unit retailer is shifting from a general discounter to a value-priced department store.

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