Charming Shoppes makes appointments to direct biz

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James P. Fogarty, who became the president and CEO of Charming Shoppes Inc. in April, wasted little time in making several appointments to its direct business, bringing in experienced direct marketing professionals from Sears, Garnet Hill and Lowes.com.

The company also said it would cease exploring the sale of its Figi's Gifts in Good Taste catalog business after looking for an acceptable offer for nearly a year.

Bill Bass, who joined Charming Shoppes in January in a consulting capacity, has accepted the permanent role of president of the Charming Direct division. He will have responsibility for building the company's e-commerce businesses, which includes lanebryant.com, fashionbug.com and catherines.com. He will report to Fogarty.

Bass co-founded Fair Indigo, a multichannel retailer of women's and men's fair trade apparel, in 2006. Prior to that, he was VP and GM of the direct-to-consumer business at Sears, Roebuck & Co. Before that, he was SVP of e-commerce and international at Lands' End, where he pioneered technology such as live customer help, virtual models and custom clothing.

In another direct-related appointment, Charming Shoppes has named Lisa J. Batra as director of e-commerce for the Fashion Bug brand. Previously, she was employed by the Lowe's Companies Inc. as the head of marketing for lowes.com.

Kimberly Aylward has joined the company as director of e-commerce for the Catherines brand. Previously, she spent 12 years at Garnet Hill Inc., most recently as director of Web merchandising and cross-brand business development.

Batra and Aylward will report to Bass.

In other news from Charming Shoppes, Anthony M. Romano has been appointed EVP of global sourcing and business transformation; Michele B. Pascoe has joined the company as division CFO, VP finance for the Fashion Bug brand; Brett R. Schneider has been appointed division CFO, VP finance for the Catherines brand; Joseph Long has been appointed director finance for the Outlet stores division and Jeffrey H. Liss has been appointed VP strategy.

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