AMERICAN INVASION: American Apparel is planning a British offensive. The Los Angeles-based company, which already has three London stores, is planning three more U.K. openings by the end of this year. The company would not confirm locations, but said Mayfair, Camden and Covent Garden were neighborhoods being short-listed within London, as well as the cities of Manchester and Birmingham. It added that spaces of 3,500 to 4,000 square feet were being scouted, and that it was also considering an opening in Ireland. “Nothing is signed yet,” said a spokeswoman for the brand. “American Apparel is such a success in London already, it would be a shame not to expand. We have a Web site, and we’ve realized there’s also a demand outside London, and so want to be in other places, too.” American Apparel was bought this month by Endeavor Acquisition Corp.

NEW DISCOVERY: Maureen Watson, former vice president of merchandising for kids’ at Old Navy, has joined Discovery Commerce as executive vice president of merchandising and product development. In her new job, Watson will oversee the entire merchant, product development, planning and visual merchandising departments for Discovery’s retail channels — Discovery Channel Store, and the Discovery Channel Catalog. Discovery Commerce is the retail and licensing division of Discovery Communications Inc. Watson will report to Discovery Commerce president Frank Rosales. Watson’s retail career began in 1989 in the Saks Fifth Avenue executive training program. Subsequently, she spent nine years at Gap, where she rose to senior merchandiser at Gap Brand and then vice president at Old Navy, until the end of November.

This story first appeared in the January 2, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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