COUNTER PUNCH

WOOLWORTH’S GERMAN EXEC: Woolworth Corp. has named Manfred Schoenmeier managing director and chief executive officer of F.W. Woolworth Co. GmbH, its German subsidiary, effective Jan. 1.
Schoenmeier, a 20-year Woolworth veteran, has been managing director and labor director, the second-most-senior position at Woolworth Germany, since January. He succeeds Peter Ellegast, who resigned earlier this month. Schoenmeier, 47, will be responsible for the firm’s general merchandise and specialty store operations in Germany and Austria.
Berthold Honecker, 48, director of ministores at Woolworth Germany, will succeed Schoenmeier and assume responsibility for logistics and distribution, administration and finance.

BOUNCING BACK: Brauns Fashions Corp., a women’s specialty chain, earned $569,000, or 15 cents a share, in the third quarter ended Nov. 25, rebounding from a loss of $409,000 a year earlier. Sales rose 10.9 percent to $27.4 million from $24.8 million. Same-store sales rose 8 percent.
Nicholas H. Cook, chairman and ceo of the Minneapolis-based chain, said Brauns’ direct-import strategy, which was implemented a year ago, “significantly improved our merchandise assortments.” Brauns operates 227 stores, primarily in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest.

SYCAMORE NO MORE: A bankruptcy judge in Indianapolis has approved Fox Promotions as liquidator for 126-unit Sycamore Stores.
Sycamore, which sells moderate-priced women’s apparel in strip centers and regional malls in the Midwest, filed Chapter 11 on Dec. 8 after 26 years in business.
Fox, based in Cranford, N.J., will receive a commission from the proceeds of the going-out-of-business sales.

NEIMAN’S GETS FIT: Neiman Marcus plans to capitalize on its customers’ New Year’s resolutions to get fit by staging a promotion with Evian water and health and fitness seminars in its stores. Neiman’s started the 10-day program last year to drive cosmetics sales and credits it with helping boost business 8 percent during the period.
The “Resolution Solutions” program runs Jan. 5 to 15. With a $50 purchase, shoppers receive a gift pack that includes a liter of Evian water, a Neiman’s logo black nylon backpack and a preview tape of Claudia Schiffer’s workout video “Perfectly Fit.” Evian is also setting up free water bars in all stores.

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