NEW YORK — Clothing retailer J. Crew Group Inc. says it’s considering a potential initial public offering for its successful Madewell brand.The announcement Thursday comes after the struggling company completed a review of the options for its business.It says a Madewell IPO, if pursued, could be completed as early as the second half of this year.Separately, it named Michael Nicholson, president and chief operating officer, interim CEO of J. Crew Group Inc. Retail veteran Mickey Drexler led J. Crew for more than a decade, helping it become a coveted fashion brand before it hit a multi-year sales slump. He severed his last ties with the company in January.The news comes as some fashion companies are trying to capitalize on a burgeoning IPO market. Denim giant Levi Strauss & Co. returned to the public market in March as it stages a comeback even as it faces increasing competition and a changing retail landscape.Some fashion companies are also looking to split up their businesses. Gap Inc. said in late February that it plans to split into two independent publicly traded companies — low-priced juggernaut Old Navy and a yet-to-be named company, which will consist of the iconic Gap brand, Banana Republic and the lesser known Athleta, Intermix and Hill City. Last year, VF Corp. said it will be splitting its denim business anchored by Lee and Wrangler jeans into an independently traded company.J. Crew recently began to add a wider variety of styles as a way to turn around its business. Meanwhile, Madewell has done well with its classic, quality clothing. In its latest fiscal year ended Feb. 2, J. Crew sales fell 4% while Madewell’s sales soared 26%.Anne D’Innocenzio, The Associated Press
“With more than 98 per cent of Haitians exposed to two or more types of disasters, and over half of its population living in poverty, Hurricane Matthew has once more demonstrated Haiti’s weakened ability to cope, recover and adapt to shocks from natural disasters,” noted Mourad Wahba, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Haiti, in the plan’s foreword. The two-year Haiti Humanitarian Response Plan. launched yesterday, is built on lessons learnt that the island that the transition from a relief-focused type of operation – like one that follows a disaster like an the earthquake – to a longer-term development approach in fragile countries should be seen as a convergence process rather than sequential since the humanitarian and development needs occur simultaneously. According to estimates undertaken by the Humanitarian Country Team, some 2.7 million Haitians will require humanitarian, protection or early recovery assistance in 2017, of which 2.4 million will be targeted countrywide. The October hurricane severely exasperated pre-existing humanitarian, socio-economic and environmental vulnerabilities and disparities. Under the plan, humanitarian interventions with a focus on improving access to lifesaving services to those affected by Hurricane Matthew, cholera, and other diseases, as well as on protecting the most vulnerable will be scaled up. At the same time, actions to promote resilience and access to durable solutions will be implemented, targeting those displaced due to the 2010 earthquake, Hurricane Matthew, as well as those repatriated or voluntarily returned from neighbouring Dominican Republic. Also, the Humanitarian Country Team will continue to support Government-led efforts to strengthen disaster preparedness and response at the national and decentralized levels. The specific objectives include:Strengthening affected population’s resilience through timely life-saving assistance, improved access to basic services and immediate livelihood restoration;Ensuring a rapid and effective response to cholera outbreaks and other waterborne diseases;Ensuring protection and promotion of the achievement of durable solutions for persons coming back from the Dominican Republic, those displaced still living in camps and people affected by Hurricane Matthew; and Strengthening the humanitarian-development nexus and supporting local emergency preparedness and response capacity.