ROSS KLEIN EXITING JONES: Ross Klein said he plans to step down as senior vice president of corporate marketing at Jones Apparel Group Inc., where he oversaw marketing for the Polo Jeans Co. His last day with the company will be Friday. He said he plans to join W Hotels Worldwide as vice president and chief marketing officer. The company has not yet named a successor, though Klein said he is working on a “strategic exit plan.”

This story first appeared in the March 10, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

A MAY MAYBE: Moody’s Investors Service put May Department Stores Co.’s credit ratings on review for possible downgrade. May Co.’s issuer rating currently rests at “A2.” Prompting the review was pressure from May Co.’s falling comparable-store sales. Last week, the retailer posted an 8.9 percent comp drop for February, a particularly grueling month for all of retailing. The review will focus on the firm’s initiatives to boost sales, especially through private brands and an improved shopping experience. Also going under the microscope will be May’s capital spending programs, storing strategies and financial policies, as well as efforts to control expenses and manage inventory.

DESIGNER SPAM: is getting behind the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s June 2 CFDA Fashion Awards with a new e-mail service to generate buzz about the affair. Beginning today, Web users can sign up for updates on the event, which is being underwritten by Swarovski. will send out e-mail alerts every other week, beginning with the announcement of nominations on April 1, through the awards night. The messages will include links to a site for the CFDA Fashion Awards that is being hosted by It will include information on nominees and honorees, Q&As with those designers and the event co-chairs — Calvin Klein, Carolina Herrera and Vera Wang.

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