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RNB Retail and Brands Climbs on JC Closures: Stockholm Mover

RNB Retail and Brands AB, a Swedish clothes retailer, rose the most more than a week in Stockholm after the company said it will close unprofitable JC stores and that Marthyn Inghamn will step down as the unit’s chief.

The shares rose 17 percent to 0.07 krona as of 11:54 a.m., the biggest intraday gain since April 26. The company led the gainers in the OMX Stockholm All-Share index.

JC, which sells denim brands such as Levis and Lee as well as its own Crocker label, had an operating loss of 111 million kronor ($17 million) in the financial year that ended Aug. 31 and has exited Norway to trim losses. Inghamn was hired from Levis Europe in August 2011 to reverse a downward spiral. While JC’s market position in jeans has strengthened, related items, such as tops and shirts, have had weak sales, the company said today in a statement.

“We have been evaluating a number of different options and the measures we are now taking will create a foundation to reduce JC´s operational loss within a short period of time,” RNB’s Chief Executive Officer Magnus Hakansson said in the statement. “We are now working on further reducing risk.”

A planned restructuring and reorientation of the non-denim assortment means Inghamn isn’t the right person to lead JC, Hakansson said. Peter Bondelid, currently supply chain director, was named acting head of JC.

RNB will decide and communicate during May which stores will be closed and plans to give more details on the complete strategic overview before the end of August.

The company also sells children’s clothes under the Polarn O. Pyret brand and men’s wear in the Brothers store chain.

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