OPERATIONS

Borders CEO resigns to head up A&P

BY CSA STAFF

New York City Borders announced on Tuesday that CEO Ron Marshall is stepping down after about a year with the chain, effective immediately. Marshall will head up the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. (A&P), where he will replace interim chief executive Christian Haub, effective Feb. 8. A&P had been searching for a permanent CEO since October 2009.

Marshall’s departure from Borders leaves the struggling retailer with the challenge of finding its fourth chief executive in five years. His resignation comes a week after Borders posted a steep drop in company revenue and same-store sales for the crucial holiday period.

Borders appointed Marshall as CEO and president in January 2009 to replace George Jones, who left in a management shake-up. He was the founder of a private-equity firm Wildridge Capital Management and had been brought on for his turnaround skills.

At Borders, Marshall is credited with spearheading substantial operational and financial improvements to drive increased cash flow and reduce debt as well as streamlining the company’s multilayered management. But the chain has continued to struggle with increased competition from online rivals and discounters and declining music sales amid the cutback in consumer spending.

It reported last week that sales at its namesake superstores open at least a year were down 14.6% for the crucial holiday period. The company has reported three consecutive quarterly losses.

In November, Borders announced that it would close 200 Waldenbooks and Borders Express stores.

Borders has replaced Marshall on an interim basis with executive VP and chief merchandising officer, Michael Edwards. Marshall will assist with the transition. The retailer retained Korn/Ferry International to find a permanent replacement.

Marshall, who has 12 years of food retailing experience, will have his work cut out for him at his new company, which operates stores under the A&P, Pathmark, Waldbaum and Super Fresh banners. The supermarket operator been losing money since June 2008. Same-store sales in quarter ended Dec. 5, fell 5.8% after slipping 3.9% in the previous quarter.

“I am confident that, together, we will bring A&P back to its leadership position,” Marshall said in a prepared statement.

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Borders chief resigns

BY CSA STAFF

ANN ARBOR, Mich. Borders announced that Ron Marshall has resigned as president, CEO and a director of the company, effective immediately, to accept the role of CEO at another retailer.

The company has named EVP and chief merchandising officer Michael Edwards as the interim CEO.  Edwards is a 26-year retail veteran with CEO experience who joined Borders in September 2009 and has been leading the merchandising and marketing teams.  

“We have a clear commitment to drive the top line at Borders Group and there will be no interruption of our strategic plans and efforts to focus with great energy and determination on this goal during the transition,” said Edwards.

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Jo-Ann joins ArtFire to help artisans sell their wares

BY CSA STAFF

HUDSON, Ohio Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores announced that it has partnered with ArtFire, an online artisan community, to provide sewers and crafters with the tools they need to create and sell their goods.

“By partnering with ArtFire, Jo-Ann is able to provide sewers and crafters all the tools they need to make and sell their products,” said Riddi Kline, SVP marketing, at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. “In stores and online at Joann.com, customers can shop for all their materials and find inspiration for projects. Cards and gift wrap in our stores complete the process for those creating handcrafted gifts, and now, those customers who sell their creations can do so through the Jo-Ann community at ArtFire.com.”

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