OPERATIONS

Cracker Barrel CEO joins Lowe’s board

BY Gina Acosta

Lowe's has added a retail veteran to its board of directors who serves on the boards of Dollar General and Books-A-Million.

Lowe's announced that Sandra B. Cochran, 57, has been appointed to its board of directors, effective immediately. The announcement brings Lowe's board of directors to 13 members, 12 of whom are independent.

"Sandy brings a combination of strong leadership and retail experience, as well as tremendous financial acumen to Lowe's, and I am pleased to welcome her to our board of directors," said Robert A. Niblock, Lowe's chairman, president and CEO. "Her executive-level financial experience will be a tremendous asset as we continue our transition from a home improvement retailer to an omnichannel home improvement company."

Cochran is the president and chief executive officer of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. She joined Cracker Barrel as CFO in 2009 and was named president and COO the following year. Cochran was named to her current position in September of 2011. She was previously CEO of Books-A-Million, Inc. from 2004-2009. Cochran is on the board of directors of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. and Dollar General, and previously served on the board of directors of Books-A-Million.

Cochran will serve on the Governance and Compensation committees. She will stand for election at Lowe's 2016 annual meeting of shareholders.

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REAL ESTATE

Nordstrom to open second, smaller store in Manhattan

BY Jennifer Mosscrop

Nordstrom isn't satisfied with just one location in the Big Apple.

While its first-ever New York City store – a seven-level, 285,000-sq.-ft. flagship on 57th Street – is under construction and set to open in 2018, the department store recently leased a cozier three-level, 43,000-sq.-ft. space a few blocks away at 3 Columbus Circle. Crain's New York reports that it will be a stand-alone menswear shop, which will feature a bar and "possibly other leisure and entertainment elements."

"We are thrilled to be able to add square footage to our footprint for our future store in Manhattan," said co-president Pete Nordstrom. “We believe it will allow us to amplify our offering, helping us put our best foot forward in the best retail city in the world.”

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MOBILITY

Study: What do online shoppers like to avoid?

BY Dan Berthiaume

When it comes to e-commerce, the top driver is actually something the experience doesn’t offer.

According to two surveys of online shoppers in the U.S. and Canada conducted by Bizrate Insights, a division of Connexity, in December 2015 and January 2016, a leading 55% of respondents cited the lack of crowds, traffic and hunting for parking as a top reason to buy online. Another 46% said shopping online takes less time than shopping in stores, while 46% also mentioned free shipping.

In addition, while about one-third of online buyers actively looked for online deals during the year-end 2015 period, 60% actually used them. This means many online shoppers wind up using online deals even if they don’t set out to.

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