FINANCE

CEO Shake-Up at Circuit City

BY CSA STAFF

Richmond, Va. Circuit City Stores announced Monday that effective immediately Philip J. Schoonover had agreed to resign from the positions of chairman, president and chief executive. Schoonover, 48, also resigned from the company’s board of directors.

James A. Marcum, 49, who joined the Circuit City board in June, has been appointed acting president and CEO. Marcum brings more than 20 years experience in retail management, including senior executive roles leading turnarounds at Ultimate Electronics and Hollywood Entertainment. He also held senior management positions at Stage Stores and Melville Corp. Currently he also serves as a director of the Iconix Brand Group.

Allen B. King, 62, who has served on the Circuit City board of directors since 2003, has been elected chairman of the board.

In the company’s prepared statement King said, “The board of directors is committed to accelerating the pace of the company’s turnaround. Since he joined the board in June, Jim has been very effective in partnering with senior management and in helping identify opportunities to deliver increased value for our shareholders, customers, vendors and associates over the long term.”

Circuit City has continued to experience declining sales. In the first quarter of this fiscal year, which ended May 31, net sales decreased 7.4% to $2.30 billion from $2.49 billion in the same period last year, and same-store sales were down 11.3%.

The company plans to announce its second-quarter results on Monday, Sept. 29, and has projected the results may be slightly better than previously projected, although it still expects to report a significant loss.

The ousted Schoonover came to the company in 2004 from Best Buy. He had served as president and a director since 2005 and as chairman of the board and chief executive since 2006.

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Now playing in Aisle 3: ‘Register to Vote’

BY CSA STAFF

BENTONVILLE, ARK. —As Wal-Mart prepares to rollout an aggressive advertiser-driven in-store media network, it is using its current in-store TV system to promote what is arguably a more noble cause than product promotion—namely, a get-out-the-vote campaign.

As part of the retailer’s efforts to engage both customers and associates, Wal-Mart will begin a non-partisan voter registration campaign next week with public service announcements on its in-store television network. The program is designed to encourage 136 million weekly customers, as well as 1.4 million U.S. associates, to register and vote in the November elections. The campaign will include two, 15-second PSAs, which will run through Election Day.

In the same vein, the company has begun hosting a voter registration portal on its corporate Web site, www.WalmartStores.com/Vote , and will put up posters with voter registration information at nearly 600 of its domestic Sam’s Club locations.

“Pollsters have found that our core shoppers—Walmart women—are an influential demographic in the upcoming presidential election,” said Leslie Dach, Wal-Mart’s evp of corporate affairs and government relations. “Our voter registration campaign is designed to encourage millions of customers and associates to register and cast their votes.”

Click here for coverage of Wal-Mart’s Smart Network.

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Trend Tracker: Framing the environment

BY CSA STAFF

Burnes is launching a line of photo frames made from sustainable materials. A percentage of sales from the line will be donated to Save the Earth.

The line’s reclaimed, “idle wood” frames—material recovered from old bridges, warehouses, factories and shipping pallets—include marks of wear to provide an authentically distressed look. They come in natural and walnut finishes and two crackled styles, chocolate/cream and grass green (pictured). The line’s plastic frames, which come in gold and bronze metallic finishes, are made from recycled materials that would have otherwise gone to landfills, Burnes stated.

Frames range in size from 4-inch by 6-inch to 8-inch by 10-inch and in MSRP from $8 to $25.

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