DANON LEAVING PRINTEMPS: Laurence Danon is stepping down as president of France’s Printemps, the department store chain confirmed on Monday after weeks of speculation that she was eying the door. Danon, who is said to be leaving with a six-year pay package, will be succeeded in the interim by Martine Delzenie, who was buying director, as the chain recruits a replacement. Danon, often counted among Europe’s most influential women executives, was instrumental in positioning Printemps more upscale. She spearheaded projects such as the so-called luxury floor at the chain’s flagship on the Boulevard Haussmann in Paris and oversaw massive renovations in the fashion and beauty departments. Danon leaves six months after the 17-store chain was sold by Gucci parent PPR to a pool of investors led by Italy’s La Rinascente chairman Maurizio Borletti, who wants to continue to modernize Printemps.

MINNESOTA RIGHTS: Chico’s FAS said Thursday that it signed an agreement to acquire the franchise rights for the state of Minnesota for an undisclosed sum. The Minnesota franchise currently operates 12 Chico’s stores located within the state and holds the entire territorial franchise rights. The acquisition, which is expected to close in February, will include all existing stores as well as the territorial franchise rights to Minnesota.

This story first appeared in the January 16, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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