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Retail briefs

MSO considering Martha's fate following verdict

NEW YORK — As HTT was going to press on Friday afternoon, the jury in Martha Stewart's obstruction of justice case returned a verdict of guilty on all four counts. Stewart now faces up to 20 years in prison.

Shortly before 4 p.m. Friday, Martha Stewart Omnimedia announced that its board of directors would be meeting "promptly to carefully evaluate the current situation and take actions as appropriate."

The company statement also said, "We are deeply saddened by the news of Martha Stewart's conviction, and our thoughts are with her in this difficult time. The company believes, in spite of this disappointment, it is important to recognize the significant contributions that Martha has made to advancing the domestic arts and improving the quality of life in and around our homes."

Stewart stepped down as chairman last year following her indictment. She has since been serving as chief creative officer.

Gottschalk's wooing Hispanic market

FRESNO, CALIF. — Back in black after an unprofitable 2002, Gottschalk's is moving into 2004 with plans to re-emphasize key brands, launch new private label initiatives in apparel and begin building a solid base of Hispanic customers, executives said during the company's fourth quarter conference call with analysts.

"The Hispanic initiative is a long-term for the company," said Jim Famalette, president and CEO. "We really think it's building a loyal customer to add to the existing Gottschalk's customers, one that will hopefully be there for a long time to come."

The retailer will roll out the program across the year in four stages: employee orientation improved signing; targeted marketing and targeting merchandising, he said.

America's Stores promotes Keller

ST. PETERSBURG, FLA . — Will Keller has been promoted to senior vice president and general manager of the TV shopping network America's Store, a sister network of TV and Web retailer HSN.

Keller has served as HSN's senior vice president of off-air sales since 2000. In his new position, he will report to Marty Nealon, president of HSN U.S., and will oversee all aspects of America's Store including programming, operations, planning, television and marketing.

In his previous capacity, Keller was responsible for the formation of the off-air sales group on HSN TV and hsn.com.

Sadove gets additional Saks post of COO

BIRMINGHAM, ALA. — Retailer Saks Incorporated has appointed Steve Sadove, vice chairman of Saks Incorporated, to the additional post of chief operating officer.

George Jones, president and CEO of Saks Department Store Group; Fred Wilson, chairman/CEO of Saks Fifth Avenue Enterprises; and Jim Coggin, chief administrative officer of the company, will report to Sadove.

In addition to Sadove, Doug Coltharp, chief financial officer; Charles Hansen, general counsel; and the corporate real estate functions will continue reporting to Brad Martin, chairman and CEO of the company.

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