BACK AT CARTIER: Marian Gulbrandsen is returning to Cartier North America as vice president of public relations. She replaces Anne Fahey, who took the role at Cartier a year ago and left in December to become a strategic partner in new business ventures and special projects at C&M Media, which represents the likes of Roberto Cavalli, Garrard and Miss Sixty. Gulbrandsen had worked for the firm for 17 years prior to her hiatus, which she took to spend more time with her family.

HUDSON’S BAY CLOSINGS: Hudson’s Bay Co. will close about 20 stores during the next two years, new owner Jerry Zucker said, dispelling industry reports the South Carolina businessman planned to close or sell 80 of the retailer’s weakest performers. Zucker also plans to renovate 45 stores a year, this year and in 2007, and will grow HBC’s five banners “by improving our portfolio, not through mass closings,” he said in a statement. “In fact, a number of previously targeted closings will not proceed, as these locations are being revitalized and rebranded.” Zucker paid close to $1 billion last month for Canada’s oldest company and largest department store chain, which operates 550 stores under the Bay, Zellers, Home Outfitters, Designer Depot and Fields nameplates.

FEDERATED CLOSING FACILITY: Federated Department Stores Inc. will close its Washington distribution center on New York Avenue in spring 2007 to reduce duplication in its logistics network stemming from its May Department Stores acquisition last year. The 758,000-square-foot facility employs about 250 people. Federated said it will try to reassign the employees and provide severance to those laid off. Merchandise handled at the center will shift to Federated centers in Joppa, Md.; Secaucus, N.J., and Stone Mountain, Ga. Federated plans to sell the Washington facility.

BETSEY IN JAPAN: Betsey Johnson has signed a five-year distribution agreement with Tokyo distributor U International Office Co. Ltd. The partnership includes distribution in various categories, including ready-to-wear, lingerie, shoes, handbags and belts, outerwear accessories, sunglasses, watches, jewelry, swimwear and home. By the end of 2006, U International plans to open a Betsey Johnson store in Tokyo, the first of 10 planned throughout Japan within the first three years of the contract. Betsey Johnson shops will carry the core collection and all the current licensed products such as bags and belts, lingerie, watches and eyewear.

This story first appeared in the March 30, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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