JONES TO BORDERS: Former Saks Department Store Group chief executive officer George L. Jones was named president and ceo of Borders Group Inc., the specialty bookstore retailer with annual sales of $4 billion, effective Monday. Jones succeeds Greg Josefowicz, who is retiring as chairman, president, and ceo. Last month, financial sources said Jones and private equity firm Freeman Spogli was looking to bid on Saks Inc.’s 39-unit Parisian chain of department stores, which has an annual sales volume of $750 million. Jones retired from the SDSG last year. Prior to Saks, Jones served as president of worldwide licensing and retail for Warner Bros., and also held an executive merchandising position at Target Corp.
SOUTH KOREAN PROGRESS: U.S. and South Korean trade negotiators wrapped up a second round of talks in Seoul Friday, making “reasonable progress” toward a free trade agreement, said Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Wendy Culter. “We agreed on the time frames for tariff phaseouts for industrial goods, which is a very significant step, and we are nearing agreement on the time frames for tariff phaseouts for agricultural and textiles goods, setting the stage for the exchange of tariff offers by mid-August,” she said.
GILDAN CUTS: Gildan Activewear Inc. is cutting some 60 jobs at its textile facilities in Valleyfield, Quebec, and Bombay, N.Y., as it ramps up T-shirt production in Honduras and the Dominican Republic. The company is also reducing operations at the two facilities to a five-day work week beginning next month. The plants will continue to manufacture fabric for fleece and sport shirts, as well as for a T-shirt sewing facility in Mexico. Gildan announced on July 6 that it had completed the $45 million acquisition of socks manufacturer Kentucky Derby Hosiery Co. of Hopkinsville, Ky.