BEN DOWNTOWN: Ben Sherman will open its first U.S. retail store in Manhattan’s SoHo in spring 2006. The 4,650-square-foot store at 96 Spring Street will join John Varvatos, MAC, Quiksilver, American Apparel, Burton and Banana Republic in the neighborhood. Robert K. Futterman & Associates and Urban Retail Real Estate brokered the deal for the retailer with Midwood Management, the landlord.
AEROSOLES NABS ANN TAYLOR EXEC: Aerosoles recently made two executive-level appointments as a part of a strategy to focus on customer service at its retail operations. The company named Claudia Forte executive vice president of retail operations and in charge of supporting field operations. Forte was formerly vice president of operations at Ann Taylor Stores Corp. for two years, and before that she worked for Victoria Secret Beauty for five years in a variety of executive-level roles; she was with Limited Brands for a total of 17 years, according to Jules Schneider, chief executive officer of Aerosoles. Representatives from Ann Taylor did not return calls by press time regarding a replacement for Forte. Aerosoles also promoted Karen Sadick to executive vice president of merchandising from the position of vice president of merchandising. Sadick will be in charge of all direct-to-consumer channels, including catalogue, Internet and retail, at Edison, N.J.-based Aerosoles. Sadick joined Aerosoles in 2000; she was formerly a vice president at Federated Department Stores.