~ The Stride Rite Children's Group, a division of the Collective Brands Performance and Lifestyle Group, has tapped Matt Feiner--the former vice president of U.S. Merchandising for footwear and apparel at Reebok North America--as senior vice president of wholesale. He will head the Group's wholesale division and the wholesale merchandise planning team to drive strategic growth for the company's branded products both domestically and globally. Currently, that portfolio includes Rite, Robeez, Saucony kids, Sperry kids and Keds kids. Visit www.striderite.com.
~ BBC Worldwide has tapped Bob Traub as its new vice president of retail development for the Americas. He will work across BBC Worldwide's brand portfolio, which includes properties such as BBC Earth, Doctor Who, Top Gear and In the Night Garden. Traub joins the company with 16 years of experience in entertainment licensing. He previously led global retail plans for companies including Chorion, Nickelodeon and Marvel Entertainment Group.
Carter's Inc. plans to add 100 stores in the next two years, according to a report in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The company currently operates 281 Carter's stores and 172 OshKosh locations. The bulk of the existing doors are in outlet malls, although the plan is to enter more strip and lifestyle centers. Sales at Carter's and OshKosh B'gosh stores rose 12.7 percent to $173.2 million last quarter. Visit www.carters.com.
Babies "R" Us Union Square of New York is marking the completion of its six-month redesign with a week of special events for parents and families. The 30,000-square-foot store has a new, easier-to-navigate layout for maneuvering strollers, an expanded assortment of merchandise including dedicated boutiques for Bunnies By The Bay and Hatley apparel, a selection of compact nursery furniture ideal for small city apartments and a larger "R" Market Shop with an extensive selection of Babies "R" Us-branded products.
In response to the deadly flooding in Tennessee, Kids in Distressed Situations is requesting donations to help the region. Estimates of the damage from weekend flooding could easily top $1 billion in Nashville alone. President Obama has declared six Tennessee counties major disaster areas. To find out how to donate new clothes, shoes, toys, books and baby gear to the flood victims, call (212) 279-5493 or visit www.kidsdonations.org.
The Summer Place II showroom is expanding with the move to larger showroom in the main atrium of Dallas Market Center's Kids World. Owner Gail Latimer said that the showroom's careful curation of product lines has resulted in strong sellers for retailers, which has allowed the business to add space and up its visibility within the market center.
Babysoy is launching a new collection of eco-friendly soy and organic cotton layette pieces to support the Jane Goodall Institute. Award-winning illustrator Patrick McDonnell has donated whimsical drawings of endangered species that the Institute has helped rescue from the brink of extinction for use in the line, which has been coined Janey Baby by Jane Goodall.
Recognizing the spending power of tweens, contemporary Los Angeles showroom In Play dives deeper into the category. With lines like Little Fox by Wildfox Couture, the fashionable Kiddo collection, Mogo magnetic charmbands and the soft dressing of Fluxus, the showroom is targeting stores that cater to this market. Visit www.inplayshowroom.com.
Jamari adds the Barbara Farber Gold collection for Spring '11. The special occasion line spans attire that uses rich, sophisticated fabrics and luxurious details for girls 12 months to 14 years. Visit www.jamariltd.com.
The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing under the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection to discuss the proposed Consumer Product Safety Enhancement Act of 2010 (CPSEA), which would address several issues that have been raised regarding implementation of Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.
Gottschalks may get a second life. Joe Levy--former CEO of the department store chain and great-nephew of its founder, Emil Gottschalk--has secured financing and plans to open new stores, starting in the Fresno, Calif., area, the Modesto Bee newspaper reported last week.