OPERATIONS

Home Depot CEO: No Job Cuts, Core Store Closings

BY CSA STAFF

Atlanta, Home Depot Inc. will not be making any job cuts or close any of its core retail stores despite the housing decline, the company’s CEO told the Associated Press in an interview.

“We’re making investments, notwithstanding the downturn,” CEO Frank Blake said. “I think that’s absolutely the right thing to do for the business. It’s going to lead to long-term success.”

Home Depot had announced earlier this week that it was closing its 11 Landscape Supply stores (and previously shut down a number of its Expo design centers), but Blake said there are no plans to close any of the company’s more than 2,000 main retail stores.

“We’re not going to shut stores to save costs,” Blake said. “We don’t need to.”

Despite the stock performance, Blake insisted that Home Depot’s strategy to focus more attention on its core business is the right strategy for the world’s largest home-improvement store chain.

On other issues, Blake said Home Depot will look at opportunities in the future for more expansion overseas, though it doesn’t have any current plans. He indicated Home Depot wasn’t looking at Europe for expansion.

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Kroger Names Michigan President

BY CSA STAFF

Cincinnati, Alongtime Kroger executive will head to Michigan as president of a newly created division, The Business Courier reported. Rick Going will take over as president of the division effective immediately, Kroger said.

Going joined Kroger in 1981 and has held management positions that include VP of retail operations and vice president of merchandising for the Cincinnati/Dayton division.

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Payless Names International Merchandise GM

BY CSA STAFF

Topeka, Kan., Payless ShoeSource has hired Scott Ramsland to serve as senior VP, general merchandising manager, international. He will report to Matt Rubel, CEO and president of Payless.

Ramsland, who began in this role earlier this week, will lead the team responsible for the product direction and overall merchandising strategy for Payless’ presence in international markets.

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