SEVEN MORE JOBS ELIMINATED IN CASUAL CORNER U.S. OFFICES

Byline: Sharon Edelson

NEW YORK — Seven more heads rolled at Casual Corner this week.
A week after Claudio Del Vecchio shook the chain with cutbacks in its office here, firing half of the 150-person staff, the president of Casual Corner Group took his hatchet to the company’s headquarters in Enfield, Conn.
Gone from the merchandising and buying staffs in Enfield are Jim Wilkins, divisional merchandise manager of sportswear; Patty Simigran, divisional merchandise manager of ready-to-wear; Colette Cummings, career buyer; Deneen Karch, casual buyer; Linda Lombardo, accessories buyer; Terry Fisher, sweater buyer, and Faith Carpenter, associate buyer for career.
The only merchant to remain is Marjorie Farnan, the divisional responsible for casual. Laurie Heintzelman, another career buyer, was promoted to divisional, sources said.
Del Vecchio, who took over the company two months ago, has been trying to revive the ailing nationwide chain.
One of Del Vecchio’s strategies is to shift design responsibilities from New York to Milan, where he opened a new office.
Del Vecchio could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
As reported, Mara Urshel, the former Saks Fifth Avenue general merchandise manager, who was president of brand development, left the New York office last week.
Michael Leva, the design director, resigned three weeks ago.
The company’s problems range from poor real estate to an inconsistent mix of fashion. The design department, which was trying to bring more sophisticated styles in higher-quality fabrics, reportedly was constantly at war with merchandisers who preferred to buy fashions for the budget customer.
Eraldo Poletto, who joined the company two months ago as chief merchandising officer, will now be looking to Milan for direction on trends and fabrics.
Casual Corner, which had sales of $808 million last year, according to estimates by the investment bank Schroder Wertheim, reportedly continues to post losses.
Sources reported the company lost more than $20 million in February alone.

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