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Retail Briefs

Apollo to Buy Lord & Taylor

Federated Department Stores has agreed to sell Lord & Taylor for $1.195 billion in cash to NRDC Equity Partners, a partnership between principals of Apollo Real Estate Advisors and principals of National Realty & Development Corp. The sale includes 48 Lord & Taylor stores in nine mostly Northeastern states and Washington, D.C., as well as a distribution center in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. The deal should close in the third quarter of 2006, pending regulatory approvals.

Federated Promotes Hanson, Gatio

Federated Department Stores has appointed two new division principals — Amy Hanson and Michael Gatio — effective July 31. Hanson becomes vice chairman for administration of Macy's North. Since July 2002, she has served as president of Federated's Cincinnati-based Financial, Administrative and Credit Services division, also known as the FACS Group.

Hanson will join Frank Guzzetta, chairman and ceo, and Robert Soroka, president and coo, as the division's principals. Gatio replaces Hanson as president of the FACS Group. Currently FACS evp for credit operations and marketing, he will supervise the Citigroup alliance, telephone and e-commerce customer support, and Star Rewards loyalty program. Gatio will report to Tom Cole, Federated vice chair. FACS evp David Faulk will report to Gatio on FACS issues, and to Federated svp for human resources David Clark in the corporate office.

Pier 1 will 'Stay the Course'

Pier 1 Imports has been “disappointed” in results during the first three months of its repositioning drive, but will “stay the course,” said chairman and ceo Marvin Girouard at the annual shareholders meeting. “Sales to interior designers were up 25%” in the quarter, he said, noting, “They are influencers.”

After a year of negative news, the 1,200-store specialty retailer is stepping up to compete with higher-priced offerings. Pier 1 has started to build a direct-to-consumer business, with a new catalog and a growing online shopping. Its ad campaign is built around hipness, and uses a cover version of the Grammy-winning 1969 Isley Brothers soul hit “It's Your Thing.”

Cost Plus Elects New Board Member

Shareholders of 274-store home furnishings retailer Cost Plus Inc. elected Christopher Dodds to the board of directors. He will join the audit committee and serve as the board's financial expert.

Dodds is executive vp and cfo of Charles Schwab Corp., which he joined in 1986.

“As a cfo of a major public financial services company, Chris brings a strong working knowledge of emerging accounting issues and financial trends,” said Barry Feld, Cost Plus president and ceo.

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