COUNTER PUNCH

OVERCOMING THE SLUMP: Michael Gould, chief executive officer of Bloomingdale’s, and Paul R. Charron, ceo of Liz Claiborne, will discuss the effect of the sluggish economy on the fashion industry at the seventh annual Herbert Blueweiss Key Issues Seminar April 9 at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York.
The panel also includes John Lupo, senior vice president and general merchandise manager at Wal-Mart, and Donald J. Franceschini, executive vice president of Sara Lee’s personal products lines.
The seminar, sponsored by the Educational Foundation for The Fashion Industries, is called “Positioning Your Company in a Slow Growth Economy.”

KENAR MOVE: Kenar, the contemporary sportswear company, has signed a lease for a boutique in East Hampton, N.Y., that is triple the size of its current unit.
The company will move to a 3,000-square-foot space at 53 Main St. from its site at 73 Main St. The two-story facility is slated to open May 15, following renovations.
The new store, with 27 linear feet of front windows, 18-foot ceilings, balconies and skylights, will carry all of Kenar’s labels, including the signature sportswear and dress line, Kenar Studio, Kenar Petites, Kenar etc. and A.J. Bari. It also will carry an eyewear line to be launched this fall and a fragrance that is being planned.
As part of its retail expansion, Kenar is looking for West Coast sites and plans to open some units in Europe within five years.

DH PROMOTIONS: The department store division of Dayton Hudson Corp. has named Ertugrul Tuzcu executive vice president of store operations, succeeding Susan Hoyt, who resigned two weeks ago. Tuzcu joined DH in 1978 and, after a string of promotions, became senior vice president of Dayton’s stores in 1995.
DH’s department stores include Dayton’s, Marshall Field’s and Hudson’s.
Tuzcu continues to head Dayton’s, while Dan Skoda and Dennis Toffolo continue as presidents of the Field’s and Hudson’s divisions, respectively.
Three vice presidents were promoted to senior vice presidents: John Fleming, general merchandise manager for women’s ready-to-wear; Dale Nitschke, gmm of men’s and children’s, and Bruce Nelson, merchandise planning.
As reported, Stephen Watson resigned as president of the corporation and chairman and ceo of the department stores last month. Linda Ahlers succeeded him as president of the department stores.

BUCKLE’S BIG QUARTER: The Buckle Inc., which sells women’s and men’s casual apparel, said fourth-quarter income jumped 39.7 percent to $4.4 million, or 62 cents a share, from $3.1 million, or 45 cents, a year ago.
The 167-unit chain reported sales in the three months ended Feb. 3 rose 25.5 percent to $56.5 million from $45 million. Same-store sales were up 11.4 percent.
For the year, earnings climbed 27.9 percent to $9.8 million, or $1.40, from $7.7 million, or $1.10. Sales were up 18.8 percent to $172.3 million from $145 million, and same-store sales rose 7.5 percent.

WINNERS AT THE FINISH LINE: The Finish Line, a 220-unit Indianapolis-based chain that sells brand name athletic and leisure footwear, activewear and accessories, has promoted Tom Sicari to divisional merchandise manager of footwear and apparel.
Tim Geis and Karl Roe have been promoted to senior buyers for footwear and apparel, respectively. Wendy Bringhurst, a former buyer at Sports Authority and Burdine’s, has joined the company as a branded apparel buyer. Brian Hallagan has been named director of financial planning and distribution. He was a divisional product planner at Champs.

CHARGES CLIP CARSON’S: Hit by nonrecurring items, Carson Pirie Scott & Co. reported earnings slumped 41.3 percent in the fourth quarter to $23.4 million, or $1.40 a share, from $39.9 million, or $1.97.
Excluding the charges, Carson’s said fourth-quarter earnings slipped 3.6 percent to $26.9 million, or $1.61 a share, from $27.9 million, or $1.38, a year ago. Sales in the quarter ended Feb. 3 sagged 7.1 percent to $364.9 million from $392.9 million, while same-store sales increased 3.3 percent.
Stanton J. Bluestone, president and chief executive officer, called 1995 “an extremely satisfying year,” pointing out that the company increased same-store sales and improved its operating rate despite a tough retail climate.
Bluestone said same-store sales gains were driven by store renovations and better-focused merchandising. Stores renovated in 1994 chalked up an 11.4 percent same-store gain in the quarter.
By category, sales of special sizes — petites and large sizes — climbed 11.1 percent in the quarter and 11.6 percent for the year. Dresses and suits sales increased 4.9 percent in the quarter and 8.2 percent in the year.

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