ELLISON JOINS ELLIS: Seth Ellison has been named president of the action sports/active division at Perry Ellis International. Ellison will oversee PEI’s youth lifestyle brands, which are Redsand and the Gotcha surfwear brand, as well its proprietary swim brand, Jantzen, and Nike swim, which is produced under license. This is a new position and represents PEI’s interest in growing the category. Ellison was most recently president at Nike’s Hurley International division. PEI last week said it had acquired the trademark rights to Gotcha and GirlStar brands from Gotcha International and will take over the development of apparel for these labels starting with the spring 2007 season. In addition to its core Perry Ellis label, the company also owns the Munsingwear, Original Penguin, Cubavera and Grand Slam brands.
BELK BOTTOMS OUT: Acquisition and storm-related costs weighed down Belk Inc. in the third quarter as the retailer posted a net loss of $4.5 million for the three months ended Oct. 29, which compared with a profit of $10.8 million in the same period a year ago. The department store company cited an increase in interest expense from its July acquisition of 47 Profitt’s and McRae’s stores from Saks Inc., lower gross margins and expenses from Hurricane Katrina. Excluding hurricane-related losses, Belk said its net loss would have been $3.9 million. Total revenues, however, jumped 29.8 percent to $701.3 million, from $540.2 million last year. Belk cited its acquisition of Profitt’s and McRae’s as well as the opening of 12 new stores for the revenue increase. Same-store sales were down 1.9 percent in the quarter. In the nine months, Belk had net earnings of $37 million, a decrease of 27.2 percent from a profit of $50.8 million last year, while revenues totaled $1.9 billion, up 15.1 percent.
THREE’S A CROWN: Another Antwerp, Belgium-based designer has taken the 100,000 euro ($118,000) Swiss Textile Award. Christian Wijnants was crowned with the prize in a competition over the weekend in Lucerne, Switzerland, beating out designers Charles Anastase, Giles Deacon, David Szeto and Undercover. Wijnants, 28, is the third Antwerp designer in a row to take the prize, after Raf Simons and Haider Ackermann.