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  • INDUSTRY NEWS

    • On September 23, 2016, it was reported, Louis Shanks of Texas will close its largest store and attached distribution center here early next year, consolidating operations to its home base of Austin and San Antonio. The top 100 company will begin a private sale Oct. 1 and then continue with a public store closing sale that's likely to run through Feb. 20, said Mike Forwood, president of the three-store, family-owned high-end retailer. Shanks owns its Houston operation, which sits on nine acres and features a 120,000-square-foot showroom with attached 80,000-square-foot distribution center. The retailer hired Watch Hill Furniture Capital of Mt. Pleasant, S.C., to run the sale, with the goal of liquidating all inventory on hand and on order for this market. That would equate to roughly $10 million to $12 million in sales, Forwood said.
    • On September 23, 2016, it was reported, buying group Furniture First named former Sleepy's executive Dino Cifelli CEO. Cifelli, who takes his post Oct. 3, comes to Furniture First from Sleepy's where he served as a divisional vice president of sales and as regional vice president over a 16-year tenure with the mattress specialty retailer. As divisional vice president he oversaw all sales and operations for more than 470 stores. Prior to joining Sleepy's, Cifelli was with Levitz Furniture for 18 years.
    • On September 23, 2016, it was reported, the saga continues at American Apparel. Paula Schneider plans to step down as CEO of the apparel retailer on Oct. 3, according to yahoo.com, which cited a report by Women's Wear Daily. Schneider will be replaced by the company's general counsel and chief administrative officer, Chelsea Grayson. It was also revealed that Paul Charron, former CEO and chairman of Liz Claiborne Inc., stepped down as board chairman of American Apparel in August. Charron was appointed to the board in March. American Apparel is known to be exploring a possible sale of all or parts of the business Schneider, a seasoned retail veteran, joined American Apparel in late 2014. She helped steer the chain through bankruptcy and initiated the first stages of a comprehensive turnaround plan. She also fought all attempts by founder and deposed CEO Dov Charney to return and take over the company. In her resignation letter to the board, which was also obtained by WWD, Schneider said "the [turnaround] plan has been laid out and much of the heavy lifting and the hard work has been done." She went on to say "the sale process currently underway for all or part of the company may not enable us to pursue the course of action necessary for the plan to succeed nor allow the brand to stay true to its ideals. Therefore, after much deliberation, and with a heavy heart, I've come to the conclusion it is time for me to resign as CEO."
    • On September 19, 2016, Wal-Mart says it has completed its deal to buy fast-growing online retailer Jet.com for $3 billion in cash plus $300 million in stock. The announcement late Monday came from Wal-Mart's CEO Doug McMillon via his Instagram account. The hefty price tag shows how heavily Wal-Mart is willing to invest in order to attract younger and more affluent customers to drive online sales, which totaled $13.7 billion last year. As part of the deal, which was announced in early August, Jet.com co-founder and CEO Marc Lore will oversee both that site and Walmart.com and will report to McMillon. Lore brings to the role a rich e-commerce resume as founder of Quidsi, the parent Diapers.com, which was bought by Amazon for $500 million in 2010.