TALKING TWEED: Chanel on Wednesday said it would accept a mediator in its legal showdown with France’s World Tricot, which accuses the Paris fashion house of counterfeiting one of its samples. Last week, Paris’ commercial court suggested a mediator was needed owing to the case’s complexity. Chanel said in its statement that it agreed to the mediator with the view the case could be resolved through dialogue. “Chanel regretted that World Tricot took the complaint to court last October instead of privileging dialogue to end the current disagreements about counterfeiting and breach of of contract, two accusations that Chanel refutes firmly,” the company said. World Tricot, which has manufactured high-end knits for Chanel for seven years, has asked the court for 2 million euros, or $2.4 million, for breach of contract and 3.3 million euros, or $4 million, for alleged counterfeiting. Frédéric Maury, an attorney for World Tricot, applauded Chanel’s decision. “We would like the mediation to be rapid and to be concluded before Feb. 15,” he said. “World Tricot would rather the case come to a friendly resolution.”
WAL-MART MARKETING: Wal-Mart is boosting its marketing team, tapping auto industry executive Julie Roehm to be senior vice president of marketing communications, a new position. Roehm will report to John Fleming, Wal-Mart’s chief marketing officer and the architect of the discount retailer’s recent push to create a more upscale image. “By creating a single source of responsibility for our marketing communications, we will ensure the consistency of our message,” Fleming said. “Julie’s experience will be instrumental in our efforts.” Before joining Wal-Mart, Roehm spent almost 11 years working for Chrysler and Ford Motor Co.
DILLARD’S NEW DEAL: GE Consumer Finance and American Express are joining forces to issue American Express-branded credit cards in the U.S., and the first deal of the partnership is the issuance of private label American Express-branded credit cards at Dillard’s. The retailer’s cards will carry the American Express logo and will be accepted on the American Express global merchant network. GE Consumer Finance will be responsible for issuing the cards and providing billing and customer service. GE Consumer Finance now offers its retail partners and cardholders credit cards from the four major payment networks: American Express, Visa, MasterCard and Discover. GE Consumer Finance is the seventh partner to issue American Express cards in the U.S.