SIDELINES

VENATOR PROMOTES TWO: Joseph Bongiorno has been named vice president of logistics and Peter Brown has been tapped as vice president of investor relations and corporate development at Venator Group.
Bongiorno was corporate expense controller and Brown was assistant treasurer and director of investor relations.
Bongiorno, a 35-year company veteran, succeeds Richard Price, who retired in January. In his new post, he reports to Matthew Serra, president and chief executive officer. Brown, a 25-year employee, reports to Bruce Hartman, senior vice president and chief financial officer.

HARVARD DROPOUT: A year after opening a store in Harvard Square, Adidas has permanently closed its doors in Boston. The sneaker giant’s mall-inspired merchandising was not a hit with the area’s high-brow customers, according to Robin Lapidus, executive director of the Harvard Square Business Association.
“The Adidas store was very controversial here, as is pretty much everything,” she said. “We’ve been called the most opionated zip code in the country. Everyone does seem to have a well-founded and educated opinion on everything.”
Last year Adidas shook up locals, by leasing a store, formerly occupied by Briggs & Briggs, a local merchant that sold sheet music in the Square for more than 100 years. The sneaker giant’s decision to close up the store’s large plate glass windows and to use “mall fittings” and “not appealing shelving” were not well-received, Lapidus said.

DANSKIN HITS EUROPE: Stephen Willacy has joined Danskin as vice president of European sales, a new post.
Most recently, he worked at Sara Lee Corp. as European director of Champion USA. In his new post, Willacy is focusing on building Danskin’s sales in Western Europe.

NIKE’S NEW FEAR: Nike warned in a Securities and Exchange filing that 2002 gross margins may be “negatively affected” by increased leather prices due to the foot-and-mouth disease crisis. The statement also noted that Nike will change its accounting and will take a charge against its earnings of about 10 cents a share in the first quarter that ends Aug. 31.
But analysts don’t expect any dramatic changes, since a 10 percent increase in the cost of leather would result in a 50 cent increase for the production of a pair of shoes.

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