Peter J. Solomon

Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail. Joe has more than 10 years experience covering the retail industry, and enjoys profiling innovative companies and people in the space.

Zale Corp. has named Becky Mick as its SVP, chief stores officer. Mick, who joined the company in 1998, had been VP.The retailer has been working with adviser Peter J. Solomon Co. on ways to improve its cash situation, including a possible sale of all or part of the company.Zale reported a smaller net loss in its most recent fiscal third quarter, helped by a tax benefit and the company's efforts to cut costs and sell more items at full price.

Fresh on the heels of a report from the Department of Commerce that December retail sales dropped 2.7 percent, more than double the 1.2 percent decline Wall Street analysts predicted, comes more bad news for multichannel retailers: 2009 doesn't figure to be any better. Such was the sentiment of a panel of retail experts during a session at this month's National Retail Federation Convention & Expo in New York.

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