OPERATIONS

Century 21 automates hiring process with Kronos solution

BY CSA STAFF

Chelmsford, Mass. — Century 21 Department Stores has chosen Kronos’ selection and hiring solution to manage the end-to-end hiring process for its 3,500 employees. With the solution, the retailer anticipates a 50% reduction in the time it currently spends on hiring new employees for its retail stores and corporate office.

Century 21 Stores was looking for a way to reduce turnover and make smarter hires. The Kronos solution allows the organization to focus only on the best applicants for Century 21 by offering managers and recruiters for Century 21 stores guidance, structured interview guides, and assessment results aimed at making the best hiring decision.

The solution also will enable Century 21 to improve workforce productivity by automating the entire hiring process, from receiving electronic applications and resumes to complete onboarding with e-Signature.

"The primary reason we selected Kronos is that it provides an end-to-end solution for both our corporate and store employees and its behavioral assessments,” said Jenifer Thoma, director, human resources, Century 21 Stores.

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FINANCE

Report charts Walmart’s banking strategy

BY CSA STAFF

Madison, Wis. — A new report maps out the shape of Walmart’s retail financial services footprint in the United States and Mexico. The study, The Blended Walmart Business Model, published by the Filene Research Institute and written by Robert Manning, PhD, knits together the many angles of Walmart’s involvement in banking services: from its 2007 charter travails to its foray into Mexican banking and, most importantly, to its long-term strategy of providing financial services to ever more of its many customers — with or without a formal bank charter.

The report makes the case that Walmart still wants a bank charter. The potential from finance and penalty fees combined with interchange fee savings’ could easily garner more than $1.3 billion annually from Walmart’s payment card system and portfolio of customer credit-card balances, according to the study.

The study suggests Walmart’s plan is advancing even without a U.S. bank charter, and notes that while the retailer currently mainly offers ancillary financial products, it may soon operate in the more traditional business model of deposits and loans.

The nonprofit Filene Research Institute is a consumer finance think tank serving the North American credit union system of 100 million members and $950 billion in assets.

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FINANCE

Christopher & Banks CEO resigns; chief merchant out

BY CSA STAFF

Minneapolis — Christopher & Banks said Tuesday that its CEO Lorna Nagler has “resigned all positions with the company to pursue other interests” of Larry Barenbaum will serve as interim CEO while the company searches for a permanent top executive. He will continue in his role as chairman.

Christopher & Banks also said that effective immediately, chief merchandise officer Susan Connell is no longer with the retailer. Jules Rouse, who was general merchandise manager until 2008, will return to that position.

Nagler was hired as chief executive in August 2007 after serving as president of Lane Bryant. Connell, who had been general merchandising manager at Lane Bryant, joined Christopher & Banks as chief merchandising officer a couple months before Nagler arrived.

Nagler’s departure comes about three months after the company’s CFO Rodney Carter resigned.

Last month, Christopher & Banks reported its fiscal second-quarter loss widened as shoppers responded tepidly to new merchandise late in the quarter. Results for the company, which targets mostly women over 40 with above-average incomes, fell short of analysts’ expectations.

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