Abercrombie & Fitch Co. announced two senior hires to lead the retailer’s EMEA and APAC operations respectively Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA), and Asia-Pacific (APAC) regions. Daniel Le Vesconte and Olga Wu recently joined A&F Co. as group vice presidents overseeing the company’s EMEA and APAC operations, respectively.

Adjusted firearms background checks reached 1,113,535 in August against 966,809 in August 2019, a gain of 15.2 percent.

Apex Global Brands will continue the company’s expansion of Hi-Tec, a leading outdoor crossover footwear, apparel and accessory brand.

Atoms, the direct-to-consumer shoe brand, raised $8.1 million in a Series A funding round, according to TechCrunch.

Baker Mayfield of the Cleveland Browns was the top-selling jersey this NFL pre-season, according to Fanatics’ ranking of the top 10 jerseys. Also landing in the top five were Patrick Mahomes, Khalil Mack, Tom Brady and Saquon Barkley.

Bell’s Sporting Goods in Lafayette, LA, is closing after 73 years in operation.

Bravo Sports, a portfolio company of Transom Capital Group, has acquired Dwindle Distribution. The seller was Globe International.

Brunswick Corp. announced the formation of the Aluminum Boat Group (ABG).

BSN Sports, a division of Varsity Brands, announced that Nancy Lieberman—basketball Hall of Famer, BIG3 Head Coach of Power, 2018 BIG 3 Champion and Coach of Year—entered into a partnership with the company to help elevate girls’ sports by providing curated coaching resources, content and support.

Coresight’s Holiday 2019: U.S. Shopper Survey, found 6-in-10 holiday shoppers are concerned that tariffs will cause prices to rise on holiday gifts with only 16 percent of shoppers absorbing those rises and increases in their spending.

Dick’s Sporting Goods will expand the company’s nationwide footprint with the opening of two stores this month in Kennewick, WA and Plymouth Meeting, PA.

Duluth Holdings Inc., (dba, Duluth Trading Co.), announced the grand opening of the company’s 56th store in Round Rock, TX.

Dunkirk, France will honor American long-distance running pioneer and U.S. Women’s Hall of Famer Kathrine Switzer on September 14 to 15 naming a stadium in her honor.

Escalade Inc. board of directors authorized an increase to the company’s stock repurchase program, increasing the limit from $3 million to $5 million.

Fleet Feet Inc. filed a lawsuit against Nike Inc. over Nike’s use of certain taglines in the company’s advertising such as “Change Everything” and “Running Changes Everything”.

Fila NA appointed Danny Lieberman as executive vice president, apparel and Gary Wakley as executive vice president, footwear.

Fitbit launched Fitbit Premium, a paid subscription service in the Fitbit app that uses an individual’s unique data to deliver the latest personalized experience from Fitbit.

Founder Sport Group, the parent of Badger Sport, Alleson Athletic and Garb Athletic, unveiled the national launch of Teamwork Flash, which allows customers to customize pre-sewn garments online and guaranteed to ship within two days.

High Five Events announced Under Armour Inc. returned as the presenting sponsor of the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon for the third year in a row.

Ironman Group, a Wanda Sports Group company, appointed Elizabeth O’Brien as managing director for North America.

Kohl’s announced sustainability goals with a focus on three key areas: climate action, waste and recycling, and sustainable sourcing.

Kroger joined Walmart in asking shoppers not to openly carry guns in their stores.

Life Fitness announced that Dan Wille will transition from chief commercial officer to vice president, global marketing and product development, and Tim McCarthy and Frank van de Ven will return to Life Fitness to assume the roles as VP sales, Americas and VP sales, international, respectively.

Li Ning hired Uniqlo’s Kosaka Takeshi as its joint chief executive officer.

Mascot Bidco Oy—the consortium of investors led by Anta Sports Ltd. and which recently acquired Amer Sports Corp.—announced it has gained title to all Amer shares in accordance with Finnish securities law.

Major League Baseball and NTT, the Japan-based information technology company, partnered on a multi-year deal.

Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank, both subsidiaries of Tailored Brands Inc., announced a multi-year licensing agreement with the NFL.

Neiman Marcus Group appointed of Lana Todorovich to president and chief merchandising officer.

Netpulse, an eGym company, announced a partnership with 49ers Fit to introduce a gym companion app on Apple Watch.

Nike named the latest building in its World Headquarters (WHQ) campus expansion after LeBron James, two-time Olympic gold medalist, three-time NBA champion and four-time NBA MVP. The LeBron James Building is the sixth new building at Nike WHQ, a project that kicked off in early 2015.

Nordstrom Inc. will continue to expand in New York City adding two service hubs—Nordstrom Local Upper East Side and Nordstrom Local West Village.

Oracle announced the creation of the Oracle Pro Series, a schedule of more than 25 ATP, WTA and ITF World Tennis Tour professional tournaments to be held across the U.S. over the course of 2019/20.

Outdoor Retailer Second Annual Innovation Awards will be held in January at the Outdoor + Snow Show. The award recognizes achievements in outdoor products, materials and retail services.

PlayerMaker, the international sports data analytics start-up, teamed up with the BetVictor Northern Premier Football League becoming the U.K. league’s first player performance partner.

Pradco Outdoor Brands, a leader in fishing and hunting products, acquired Gene Larew Lures, a Tulsa, OK-based company that manufactures and sells fishing lures under its Gene Larew, Bobby Garland and Crappie Pro brands.

Rocky Brands Inc. appointed Tracie A. Winbigler to the company’s board of directors as a Class I director to serve until the 2020 annual meeting of shareholders and until her successor is elected.

Standard & Poors Corp. lowered its debt ratings on J.C. Penney Co. Inc. due to continued revenue declines and the increasing likelihood that J.C.Penney will have to pursue a distressed debt exchange.

Super Soccer Stars, the leading youth soccer organization, announced a landmark partnership with Famer, a recently launched online youth sports coaching and mentoring platform.

Surf Expo announced that it would cancel the 2019 event due to Hurricane Dorian.

The American Apparel & Footwear Association announced that Rick Helfenbein will step down as president and CEO on December 31, 2019. Current Executive Vice President Stephen Lamar will become the association’s president and CEO on January 1, 2020.

The Black Hole, the Oakland Raiders largest fan club, announced a new partnership with sports fan club network FanWide.

The Buckle Inc. posted comparable store net sales, for stores open at least one year, for the four-week period ended August 31 increased 3.1 percent from comparable store net sales for the 4-week period ended September 1, 2018.

The NFL and TikTok, the destination for short-form mobile video, announced a multi-year partnership to bring the NFL experience to TikTok’s global community.

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network announced that Columbia Sportswear executive Lisa Kulok joined its national board of directors.

Thirty-eight million American adults—15 percent of the U.S. adult population—plan to bet on NFL games this season, according to a recent survey conducted by the American Gaming Association (AGA).

Timberland will plant 50 million trees worldwide by 2025 as part of the company’s greener future strategy.

Top of the World and Authentic Brands Group announced a partnership to create a Spyder collegiate apparel collection.

Under Armour Inc. appointed of Stephanie Pugliese, former CEO of Duluth Trading Company, as president, North America. Founder Stephen L. Schlecht will reassume the role of Duluth CEO.

Unifi Inc. appointed Craig Creaturo, effective September 9, as executive vice president and CFO.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard appointed marketing veteran Andy McKeon as CMO.

Vans launched Global Custom Culture, an interactive shoe customization contest.

Walmart said it will stop selling certain forms of ammunition, will ask customers to no longer openly carry guns in their stores, and called on President Trump, and other lawmakers, to pass background checks legislation.

WellBiz Brands Inc., a franchise portfolio company operating three distinct wellness, fitness and beauty brands, Elements Massage, Fitness Together and Amazing Lash Studio, announced that Stephanie Hu will join Fitness Together Franchise LLC as CEO.

Photo courtesy Abercrombie & Fitch Co.