COURT DATE: Francois Pinault is expected to travel to Los Angeles July 12 for the next round of negotiations in the ongoing Executive Life case. Last month, U.S. District Court judge Howard Matz urged Pinault and the California insurance commissioner to reach a negotiated accord after a jury ruled that Pinault’s family-owned holding company, Artemis, conspired to defraud insurance regulators when it acquired Executive Life’s junk bond portfolio, reaping huge profits. Meanwhile, the jury cleared Pinault personally of any wrongdoing. Attempts by the two parties to settle on a penalty sum failed earlier this month.

HEADING WEST: Mango, Spain’s cheap-chic fashion chain, is set to open its first U.S. store by the end of November in the Los Angeles area, a spokesman confirmed this week. Spanning 8,600 square feet, the two-level location is slated for Santa Monica’s shop-heavy Third Street Promenade. According to Barcelona headquarters, the store logo and brand will be marketed as MNG in the U.S. Los Angeles was chosen as the U.S. “point of entry” because of “its huge potential as a market and its proximity to neighboring countries such as Mexico, where Mango has been present for more than 10 years,” according to a company statement. For 2004, Mango sales climbed 5.3 percent to 1.05 billion euros (or $1.31 billion at current exchange), 73 percent from international markets.

PACSUN PRESIDENT TO RETIRE: Tim Harmon will retire July 1 as president and chief merchandising officer of Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. after almost 14 years with the company. “We appreciate the incredible job that Tim has done in helping grow Pacific Sunwear into one of the largest specialty retailers in the world,” chief executive officer Seth Johnson said in a statement. Harmon’s merchandising responsibilities will be assumed by the company’s division presidents. In addition, Reenie Benziger has been named executive vice president of merchandising for the company’s PacSun Division.

This story first appeared in the June 16, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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