Inside the Industry

First Citizens, a financial holding company for the First Citizens Bank & Trust Company, headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., recently announced a merger with CIT Group Inc., whose commercial banking services include factoring for apparel companies. The merger will create a commercial bank with over $100 billion in assets, said Frank Holding Jr., chairman and CEO of First Citizens. “This is a transformational partnership for First Citizens and CIT to create long-term value for all of our constituents including our stockholders, our customers, our associations and our communities, Holding said. “Together, First Citizens and CIT will be able to leverage both companies’ unique attributes to create the 19th-largest bank in the country, well-positioned to compete across the United States.”

London Fashion Week’sFebruary 2021 dates were recently announced. The British Fashion Council, which produces London Fashion Week, said that London Fashion Week would run Feb. 19–23. In the past, London Fashion Week has run in January. The group said LFW would run as a digital event that will feature scaled-back physical activities, said Dylan Jones, BFC’s menswear chair. “This year’s pandemic made us all rethink the current system in place,” Jones said. “We are confident that this move will help designers reach more people via the digital LFW platform while still allowing them to do business as early as January without the deadline of a show.”

Retail Properties of America, Inc., headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., announced Oct. 28 that it had published its first Corporate Sustainability Report at the site, said Steve Grimes, the company’s chief executive officer. “RPAI has successfully completed and is in the process of executing significant ESG [environmental, social and governance] programs, and we are excited to highlight our accomplishments to date in our first Corporate Sustainability Report,” he said.

True Religion recently emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to a statement from Michael Buckley, the company’s chief executive officer. He said that the company was forced to close stores and cut jobs. “The reorganization has allowed the company to reduce its operating costs and lower its debt load and emerge a profitable, lean operating company with a healthy balance sheet. The path is now clear for True Religion to continue its reinvigoration of its iconic American brand,” he said.

The NPD Group, one of the largest market-research companies in America, announced that Susan Merrill was named president of the company’s United States apparel practice. Merrill succeeds John Deputato, who is retiring, She will oversee NPD’s portfolio of apparel services and product offerings, said Joanne Sackett, the president of NPD’s soft lines. “Her commercial skills paired with a solid track record for building strategic relationships will allow us to partner with clients in new and different ways and identify additional opportunities to navigate them to success,” Sackett said.