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Retail Briefs

Bye-Bye Berkus?

Linens 'n Things will continue to flow new goods to its Nate Berkus captive celebrity brand through the back half of the year, but the fate of the program beyond that point is undecided.

Speaking during the retailer's quarterly conference call with analysts last week, LNT chairman and ceo Robert DiNicola said: "We are still in discussions with Nate Berkus about the future." He would not disclose what percentage of the business Berkus accounts for today, "except that it's a somewhat smaller piece of the business in textiles."

Restoration to Downsize HQ

Restoration Hardware will eliminate roughly 100 positions at its corporate headquarters "in response to challenging market conditions in the home furnishings sector," the company said.

The restructuring is expected to create about $3.5 million in cost savings after severance and outplacement charges for the balance of the year, and approximately $9.0 million of savings annually.

Macy's to Relocate DC

Macy's Inc. announced plans to open a new distribution center in spring 2008 in Minooka, Ill., approximately 50 miles southwest of Chicago.

As the new, 850,000-square-foot facility in Minooka is phased-in, Macy's will phase out operations at its DC on Diversey Avenue in Chicago, which contains 1.55 million square feet spread over six stories of a building developed in stages since the 1930s.

The Macy's North furniture clearance store currently located in the distribution center will be relocated to leased space in a retail center near Fox Valley Mall in Aurora, Ill.

Pier 1 Lets Marketing Chief Go

Pier 1 is searching for a new evp of marketing, having shown Phil E. Schneider the door earlier this month. Schneider had been appointed to the position in 2002.

Jo-Ann to Acquire Website

Jo-Ann stores today announced it will acquire the remaining 62% interest in IdeaForest.com, the parent company of seven-year-old web site Joann.com, which attracts two million unique visitors monthly and offers 65,000 products.

"By more closely integrating the online business with our brick and mortar stores, we will not only improve customer satisfaction, but also deliver earnings accretion for shareholders, " said Darrell Webb, chairman, president, and ceo of Jo-Ann Stores, Inc

Kohl's, JCP Buck the Trend

Contrary to many of their rivals, Kohl's and JCPenney last week raised their fiscal year guidance. Kohl's now anticipates earnings per share of $3.77 to $3.78 for the year vs. previous guidance of $3.75 to $3.87. JCPenney raised its full-year earnings expectation to $5.50 per share, up one penny from its previous guidance.

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