Factory 2-U Stores Inc has appointed William R Fields as chairman of the board and chief executive officer, replacing Mike Searles.

Mr Fields served as president and chief executive officer of Wal-Mart Stores Division during 1993-96. Most recently he served as chairman and chief executive officer of Apec China Asset Management Ltd.

The off-price retailer has also named Ronald Rashkow to the new position of lead director of the Board. Mr Rashkow has been a director of Factory 2-U Stores since 1997, and has been a principal of Chapman Partners LLC, an investment banking firm, since its founding in September 1995.