FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Attorney General
ATTORNEY GENERAL PRESENTS CHECK TO CAREER CLOSET
"This program provides important assistance to hardworking individuals who want to enhance their professional appearance and advancement," said Brady, who also is a member of Business and Professional Women. "I know that women re-entering the workforce and seeking to free themselves and their families from the constraints of poverty have found this resource invaluable."
Jean Sawyer, store manager, noted that the funds will permit the Career Closet to expand the hours it is open and staffed. "Many times we have had to limit the availability of our service because we did not have the resources to open. These funds will allow us to provide expanded and more regular hours," she said.
The funds were received in a settlement of a national legal action brought against the Nine West Group. Delaware, along with 54 other state and U.S. territories and the District of Columbia, alleged that the business entered into illegal agreements with retailers to fix the retail price of women's shoes between January, 1998 and July, 1999. Working with the Federal Trade Commission, the states uncovered evidence that various Nine West divisions, including Easy Spirit, Enzo Angiolini and Nine West, prohibited retailers from discounting certain shoes. Nine West allegedly granted discounts to retailers that cooperated with their terms, and withheld discounts or threatened to refuse to take orders from retailers that did not comply. As a result, state and federal authorities allege, consumers were denied a competitive market for certain Nine West shoes, and therefore paid higher prices for them. Under the terms of the settlement announced last year, Nine West agreed to pay $34 million into a settlement fund. Of this amount, $3.5 million was reserved to pay the states for attorneys fees and investigative costs. The remaining $31.5 million was divided among the states to fund women's health, educational vocational and safety programs in each state.
Although Nine West has not
admitted liability or wrongdoing, the settlement terms require that it
must refrain from such business practices that are designed to control the
price at which retailers choose to sell Nine West shoes, and Nine West
must notify its retailers that it is their right to independently
determine the price at which they wish to sell Nine West products. Nine
West Group was purchased in 1999 by Jones Apparel Group, Inc.