With 90 stores on tap for 2011, Big Lots appoints executive VPs
New York City — Big Lots, which plans to open 90 stores this year, has made two key merchandising moves to facilitate its planned growth.
The retailer has hired former Sears merchandising executive Doug Wurl to serve as its executive VP merchandising. He assumes responsibilities previously held by John Martin, who was named executive VP administration. In his new role, Martin will have responsibility for store operations and human resources.
Big Lots ended last year with 1,398 stores nationwide and plans to open 90 units this year while closing 45 others.
OfficeMax names president of retail
Naperville, Ill. — OfficeMax announced that Michael J. Lewis will assume the role of executive VP and president of retail, effective May 2. He will have full responsibility for the retail P&L and all aspects of the retail business, including merchandising, store operations and real estate.
Most recently, from 2010 to early 2011, Lewis served as global head of a merchandising center for Wal-Mart Stores,
Southern California grocery workers OK strike authorization
New York City — Members of the largest union local representing Southern California grocery workers gave their negotiators the power to call for a strike if contract talks with major supermarket chains break down, it was announced Thursday. Results for the other locals were not immediately available.
Passage of the strike authorization would not necessarily mean a strike is imminent. Contract talks that began in February are set to resume next week with negotiators for The Vons Cos. Ralphs Grocery Co., a subsidiary of The Kroger Co.; and Albertsons.