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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, November 10, 2019 1:00 am


Prada links loan rates, green ways

News services

MILAN – The Prada fashion group has signed what is billed as the first business loan in the luxury goods sector linking the annual interest rate to practices that help the environment.

Prada said last week that the five-year, $55 million loan with Credit Agricole Group will see interest rates lowered based on “achievement of ambitious targets related to sustainability.”

The targets include the number of stores that meet defined standards for “green” buildings, education workshops for employees and the use of regenerated nylon in collections.

UK cigarette maker chooses new chair

Imperial Brands picked former investment banker Therese Esperdy to replace its chairman as the U.K. cigarette maker struggles to keep up in the fast-changing tobacco industry.

Esperdy, who retired from JPMorgan in 2015, will replace Mark Williamson in January and guide the search for a new chief executive officer.

The new team will have to catch up with bigger rivals in next-generation products, navigate regulatory turmoil for e-cigarettes and gain back investors' trust.

Imperial also said Tuesday it aims to announce the sale of its premium cigar business soon as it seeks to raise cash to pay down debt.

Pier 1 again makes changes at top

Leadership at Pier 1 Imports is changing again. Robert Riesbeck has been named chief executive officer of Pier 1 and will continue as chief financial officer.

As of last week, he succeeded Cheryl Bachelder, who had been interim CEO at Pier 1 since December 2018 when the board fired its previous CEO.

Riesbeck joined Pier 1 in July. His background includes top positions at FullBeauty Brands, electronics retailer H.H. Gregg and a private equity firm that's been active for many years in retailing, Sun Capital Partners.

UPS gearing up for surge of returns

UPS is already preparing to handle millions of holiday gift returns, as online shopping drives increased returns.

The shipping giant said last week it expects to handle more than 1 million return shipments a day in December.

There are two spikes in returns, according to UPS: One is the week before Christmas driven by retailer promotions, and another comes after the holidays, on Jan. 2, which UPS calls “National Returns Day.”

On Jan. 2, UPS expects to handle 1.9 million return packages, up 26% from the peak day last holiday season.