URSHEL REPORTEDLY TAKES OVER ALL CASUAL CORNER MERCHANDISING

NEW YORK — The shakeup continues at the troubled Casual Corner chain.
According to sources, Mara Urshel, the former Saks Fifth Avenue general merchandise manager who last year took charge of Casual Corner’s private label operation in New York, is reportedly now running all the merchandising for Casual Corner, as well as Petite Sophisticates. Both chains, units of Luxottica, are based in Enfield, Conn.
Sources said Urshel takes over responsibilities that were held by Bob Fisch, who now is in charge of outlets and August Max Women for large sizes. He also reportedly relinquished planning and distribution responsibilities.
Kim Reynolds, who worked for Fisch as general merchandise manager, is now merchandising just for the large size stores, sources added.
As reported, Claudio Del Vecchio this month forced out Leopoldo Borzino, former president.
Del Vecchio is a member of the family that owns the Luxottica eyewear manufacturing and retailing empire based in Agordo, Italy. Two years ago, Luxottica purchased U.S. Shoe Corp., primarily for the Lenscrafter eyewear chain. But through the purchase, Luxottica also picked up the former U.S. Shoe’s women’s retail group, including the Casual Corner, Petite Sophisticates and August Max chains.
The company is also considering manufacturing more goods out of Italy to overhaul the merchandise, sources said.
Officials at Casual Corner could not be reached Monday.
Casual Corner has struggled through the Nineties due to inferior merchandise and difficulty retaining focus.

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