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Retail briefs

MSO Hires President, Merchandising

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia has hired Robin Marino as president of merchandising. Marino, who was most recently president and chief operating officer of Kate Spade, Inc., will manage the company's merchandising programs and develop new ones.

Current merchandising programs include the $1 billion mass market Martha Stewart Everyday product line sold at Kmart and Sears Canada, Martha Stewart Signature furniture with Bernhardt, and Martha Stewart Signature paint with Sherwin-Williams.

Kohl's Merchants To Make Mark

Kohl's new merchants in home will start to make an impact in the second half of the year, particularly the fourth quarter, with new assortments and the introduction of new brands and presentations, executives said during the company's first quarter conference call last week.

The company is also looking to fill out its product development staff.

Helped by stronger same-store sales and continued expansion, first-quarter profits climbed 21 percent, to $124.7 million from $103.1 million last year. Sales increased 15.2 percent, to $2.7 billion from $2.4 billion last year, while the crucial test of same-store sales rose 3.7 percent.

Gov. Delays Safeguard Decisions

The U.S. government has announced that it will extend its deadline for deciding on the threat-based cases filed by the textiles industry in 2004.

Its new deadline will be 60 days from the publication of a release in the Federal Register early last week. This could delay a decision on certain petitions until July, potentially giving China more growth to the baseline on which any safeguard would be applied.

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