DAS HOURS: The German parliament approved an amendment, effective June 1, allowing stores to stay open until 8 p.m. Saturdays, as opposed to 6 p.m. on the first Saturday of the month, and 4 p.m. otherwise. Weekday closing time remains 8 p.m., except for stores in railway stations and special tourist zones. Sunday openings remain largely taboo, though local authorities may designate a maximum of four Sundays each year as “Shop Open Sundays,” in which stores can now stay open until 8 p.m. instead of 2 p.m. on those Sundays.
WALMEX IN CLEAR: Mexico’s antitrust agency closed its investigation into the purchasing practices of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s south-of-the-border division Walmex, under the condition that the retailer follow a code of conduct when dealing with suppliers, said published reports. In related Wal-Mart news, the stores is in talks to acquire a significant stake in the supermarket chain Safeway PLC ahead of a ruling by the U.K. Department of Trade and Industry.
PERRY ELLIS APPOINTS EVP SALES: Perry Ellis International, Inc. announced Friday the appointment of Michael Nicklas as executive vice president of sales for Jantzen, Inc., a subsidiary of Perry Ellis. Nicklas will oversee all swimwear-related apparel and accessories for Jantzen, Nike and Tommy Hilfiger. Nicklas most recently was senior vice president and national sales manager, department stores for the Speedo division of Authentic Fitness. Nicklas will report directly to Oscar Feldenkreis, president and chief operating officer of Perry Ellis.