OPERATIONS

Best Buy names chief executive of Carlson as new CEO

BY Marianne Wilson

Minneapolis — Best Buy Co. has named Hubert Joly, the former chief executive of global hospitality company Carlson, as the chain’s new CEO and president. Carlson, which operates such businesses as Radisson and T.G.I Friday’s, announced Sunday that Joly resigned from that company.

Joly, who is French, is expected to take over as CEO in early September when his visa is secured. In announcing the appointment, Best Buy described Joly as a “leading global CEO with expertise in turnaround and growth across the media, technology and service sectors.”

“Hubert was an outstanding candidate for this position and I am confident he will be a great fit for Best Buy,” said Hatim Tyabji, chairman of the Best Buy Board. “Hubert’s range and depth of experience in transforming companies is exactly what the company needs at the moment, as is his energetic, imaginative and experienced leadership in executing strategies.”

Joly succeeds Mike Mikan, a board member who has served as interim CEO since April when former CEO Brian Dunn left Best Buy because of what the company called an improper relationship with a female employee.

The news about the appointment comes amid mounting drama between Best Buy’s board and the chain’s founder and former chairman, Richard Schulze, who wants to take the company private. On Sunday, Best Buy said its board had offered Schulze the opportunity to conduct “due diligence” on the company’s non-public financial information, but that Schulze had declined.

On Monday, Schulze said in a statement that he was “disappointed and surprised” by the abrupt termination of discussions.

“The board initially proposed an 18 month standstill, which was completely unacceptable in light of the fact that urgent change is needed at Best Buy and value is eroding further every day that change is not effected,” Schulze said. “… I am shocked by this course of action but as the largest shareholder of Best Buy, I remain hopeful that the board will engage in good faith discussions with us for the benefit of shareholders, employees and customers. Time is of the essence, and it is imperative that shareholders’ interests are not further jeopardized.”

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Cost Plus World Market creates enhanced experience with updated website

BY CSA STAFF

OAKLAND, Calif. — Cost Plus World Market has updated its e-commerce site (worldmarket.com) to offer an enhanced shopping experience with social media integration, inspiration and solutions for the home, an increased number of products available online, expanded product information, a simplified checkout process and more.

“I view our new e-commerce site as a flagship store for the World Market brand. The new site better showcases what we have to offer online and in stores, and highlights the breadth of our unique products. We pay close attention to industry trends and will continually update and innovate the site to cater to our customers’ wants and needs. We’re very excited about bringing the experience of our brand to more online shoppers,” says Barry Feld, World Market CEO.

The new World Market website enables customers rate, review and share items to their Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media accounts.In addition, customers can get inspired with tips and tools on home decorating, entertaining and gift giving through photos and videos.

Through the online shop, customers will also be able to order merchandise that may not be able to be carried in stores, which includes expanded product lines, additional colors and finishes and more.

“Recognizing that the e-commerce sector continues to grow by double digits year over year, World Market wanted to provide our customers with a new comprehensive online site. The launch of worldmarket.com is an exciting milestone for our company. The new site incorporates leading social, mobile and local features allowing our customers to enjoy a fully integrated shopping experience,” says Jason Marshall, World Market VP e-commerce.

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Lowe’s stumbles in second quarter

BY CSA STAFF

Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe’s posted declines in net sales, comp-store sales and earnings in the second quarter ended Aug. 3.

“Our results fell short of our overall expectations,” said Robert Niblock, Lowe’s chairman, president and CEO. “However, I have confidence in our strategy and in our employees, and while we recognize the significant magnitude of change that we’ve asked the organization to absorb as we transform our business, we fully understand that we must improve our level of execution.”

The world’s second largest home improvement retailer posted sales of $14.2 billion in the quarter, down 2.0% from $14.5 billion in the same quarter last year. Comp-store sales in the quarter were negative 0.4%.

Earnings of $747 million were down 10.0% from the same quarter a year ago.

The quarterly comparisons in 2012, which is a 52-week year, are impacted by a shift in comparable weeks, the company said. For the six-month period, comparable-store sales increased 1.0%

As of Aug. 3, 2012, Lowe’s operated 1,748 stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico, representing 196.8 million sq. ft. of retail selling space.

That compares with rival Home Depot’s store count of 2,255 stores. Last week, Home Depot reported gains in comps and sales and a double-digit percentage gain in net earnings.

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