COUNTER PUNCH

MACY’S HITS NEW ENGLAND: After 16 months of transition and
reorganization, the Macy’s name will replace Jordan Marsh at 18 department stores and a furniture gallery in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut and Albany, N.Y., on March 25.
Federated Department Stores, which owns the Macy’s and Jordan Marsh chains, has invested $100 million to upgrade the Marsh units since deciding in December 1994 to merge the division into its Macy’s East operation.

MERCANTILE PROMOTES: Mercantile Stores Co. has promoted James L. Schmidt to president of its 23-unit West Group, which operates stores in Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming. Schmidt was area manager for Mercantile’s Cincinnati-based McAlpin’s stores.
He succeeded Gregory A. Brandjord, who was named senior vice president of merchandising, home division, a new post. Brandjord is responsible for driving Mercantile’s strategy to enhance and expand the home lifestyles merchandise category.
Schmidt and Brandjord report to David L. Nichols, chairman and chief executive officer.

DESIGNS ON DISPLAY: Winners of the Design 21 international competition for young fashion designers will have their works displayed at the Fashion Institute of Technology from June 17 through July 31.
The competition, established by The Felissimo Group, drew 1,905 entrants from 89 countries and was held in conjunction with the United Nations’ 50th anniversary. Among the winning designs were a quilted bodice made of hay and a coat made from a recycled rug.
Each of the 50 winners received $1,000. Felissimo also expects to offer support to some of the winners to help them establish careers as fashion designers.

NEW BLOOMINGDALE’S: Bloomingdale’s has set fall 1997 for the opening of a 252,000-square-foot unit in the Aventura Mall in North Dade County, Fla. Bloomingdale’s previously announced plans to open in the mall, but did not specify when.
Aventura Mall is anchored by Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, J.C. Penney and Sears.
In conjunction with the full-line Bloomingdale’s, the mall developer intends to renovate the mall and add 120,000 square feet of smaller retailers and specialty stores. l

COMMUNITY OUTREACH: Even before its debut in Texas, Nordstrom will make its mark by dispatching 500 of its 700 employees to volunteer at charities and community organizations in Dallas on Saturday.
Known as “Nordstrom Community Service Day,” the event typically precedes Nordstrom openings. Employees are paid for the day by Nordstrom. In Dallas, Nordstrom will host children’s arts and crafts plus offer manicures and make-up seminars to women at a Dallas Salvation Army center and spruce up several facilities, including a training center for teaching vocations to the disabled, a woman’s center, an AIDS outreach service, a home for senior citizens and a playground for developmentally challenged children.
Nordstrom, which is opening a store in the Galleria in Dallas, is also planning a party in its juniors area March 16 and a gala March 21, the evening of the opening. In addition, several designer appearances are also scheduled, including Gemma Kahng on March 23 and David Dart and Fahti Moschery on April 6.

PATINA V VICTORY: J.C. Penney Co. has named Patina-V/Patina Arts as the company’s visual supplier of the year. It marked the third time in four years the City of Industry, Calif.-based supplier has received the award.
Patina-V, a leading mannequin manufacturer, and Patina Arts, which produces fixtures, furniture, shop concepts and decorations, are divisions of Norlaine Inc.

ARMANI’S FAR EAST EXPANSION: Joyce Boutique Holdings Ltd. opened a 3,200-square-foot
Emporio Armani boutique in Macau in early February, the sixth unit to bow in Southeast Asia since 1994. Other recent openings include Bangkok and Manila.
With the opening of an international airport last year, Macau is expected to gain stature as a commercial gateway and tourist destination.

STOCKING UP ON GOTTSCHALKS: Private investor Joseph L. Harrosh has raised his stake in Gottschalks Inc. to 8.2 percent from 5.6 percent, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Harrosh, of Fremont, Calif., said in the filing that he bought 270,600 Gottschalks shares in January and February because they “appear to be undervalued.” He paid about $1.6 million for the shares.
Joe Levy, chairman and ceo of Gottschalks, said Harrosh began buying shares in Fresno, Calif.-based Gottschalks in 1992.

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