OPERATIONS

The Home Depot prepares for phase-out of penney in Canada

BY Staff Writer

Toronto — The Home Depot Canada has joined other Canadian retailers in complying with the government’s planned phase out of the penny.

However, the retailer noted that many Canadians were unaware of the phase-out, and wanted to ensure its customers that it is doing its best to inform them of the change. As of Feb. 4, the penny will no longer be in circulation.

The Home Depot Canada said it wants its customers to know that after this date, anyone shopping at its stores using cash, will have their total rounded down to the nearest nickel. In addition, if a customer makes a cash return to the store, it will always round up to the nearest nickel. The Home Depot feels it’s vital to continually meet the needs of its customers.

"The Home Depot Canada is passionate about customer service and lives by its core values, including doing the right thing," said Vinod Nalajala, senior director of Canadian Operations. "Always rounding down on sales and up on returns is one more way we are committed to delivering value to our Canadian consumers."

To prepare associates and customers for the change, The Home Depot Canada ran a number of pilots across the country in January. Full implementation across all 180 stores will begin on Feb. 4.

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OPERATIONS

Maxine Clark, CEO of Build-A-Bear Workshop, to retire

BY Marianne Wilson

St. Louis — Retail veteran Maxine Clark announced she is stepping down as CEO of Build-A-Bear Workshop, the chain she founded in 1997. Clark, 63, said she will remain as CEO until a successor is found. She will also remain on the company’s board of directors.

“Creating Build-A-Bear Workshop and nurturing the company from a fledgling start-up to a global retail brand has been one of the greatest experiences of my professional life,” Clark said in a statement. “Although our business has experienced challenges over the past few years as consumers have reduced discretionary purchases, our strategic plan and key initiatives are beginning to work.”

As for her future plans, Clark said she planned to combine her entrepreneurial spirit and combine it with her passion to improve public education in the region.

“We have made great progress in education reform in the St. Louis area, but more is needed so that all children have the chance to achieve their dreams just as I have,” Clark said.

In a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, she discussed her intent to remain on the board after she retires.

“I love Build-A-Bear,” she said. “There’s no way I’m not going to be connected to Build-A-Bear.”

Prior to starting Build-A-Bear Workshop, Clark served as president of Topeka-based Payless ShoeSource. She was also a former executive of Venture Stores and the May Co.’s Famous-Barr stores.

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News

Amazon.com goes dark for an hour

BY CSA STAFF

On Thursday the unthinkable happened, customers who wanted to do a bit of shopping on Amazon.com were met with an error message as the e-commerce site was down for nearly an hour.

Though an hour may not be that long, it is still enough time to turn people off from coming back to a website which prides itself on strong customer service.

According to reports, the gateway page of Amazon.com was down for about 49 minutes. Other pages of the site remained unaffected during this time. Though the cause is not known, reports indicate that it was not a maintenance issue.

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