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Jackson to head Best Buy’s operating groups

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Best Buy Wednesday announced that Darren Jackson, cfo of the company, will fill the newly created position of evp of customer operating groups. In this role, Jackson leads Best Buy’s entertainment, PC mobility and home solutions operating groups and also has oversight for enterprise merchandising. Best Buy Financial Services, Best Buy For Business, Magnolia Audio Video and Pacific Sales will continue to report to Jackson.

Jackson began his retail career with Carson Pirie Scott & Co. in Milwaukee, holding various executive positions, including chief financial officer. He then spent three years with the Seattle-based Nordstrom, Inc. as vice president and chief financial officer of its full-line store division. Jackson serves on the board of Advance Auto Parts. In his new capacity, Jackson reports to Brian Dunn, Best Buy’s president and coo.

“Best Buy has benefited greatly from Darren’s leadership and insight as cfo. His deep-seated understanding of our business, coupled with his commitment to our culture and the development of our people, makes him a driving force in the next phase of Best Buy’s growth,” said Dunn. “Darren’s desire to refocus his leadership from finance to running our customer operating groups allows us to gain more clarity and accountability around the significant opportunities in front of us. Darren plays a critical role as he brings teams together to create opportunities to share expertise, create targeted solutions and ultimately drive growth by better meeting the needs of the unique customer groups within each of these brands and businesses.”

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Timberland to close specialty shops

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK, (Reuters) Bootmaker Timberland said it would close most of its specialty retail shops after the company said they expect their third-quarter earnings to be extremely low.

Most of the store closings will occur early next year, Timberland said, adding that it hopes to raise annual operating profits by $6 million, while lowering annual sales by about $40 million. The company said the closings are part of a transition to smaller, footwear-focused stores in the United States.

“We have decided to begin the closure of most of our specialty retail stores in the United States, as well as stores in Asia and Europe,” ceo Jeffrey Swartz said in a statement.

Sales of Timberland’s trademark work boots, a long-time fashion staple of urban consumers, have been declining recently with footwear trends moving toward sneakers.

The Stratham, N.H.-based company also said it expects third-quarter operating margins to dip 6 percentage points, a drop Timberland partly blamed on a voluntary recall of its Direct Attach Steel Toe Series footwear.

Timberland’s shares have fallen nearly 40% from their 52-week high of $33.45 on November 14. The stock closed Tuesday at $20.22 a share.

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Sears Canada to sell head office

BY CSA STAFF

TORONTO Sears Canada is making a move by selling its head office and surrounding property in Toronto, according to reports.

The 1,400-plus employees will be relocated to the top four floors of the Sears flagship store at the Toronto Eaton Centre.

Company spokesperson Vincent Power said that the store had been underperforming as consumers have stayed away from the upper floors. He believes that the store will be more productive on four floors rather than eight. The move comes shortly after the retailer sold off its corporate jet earlier this year.

A price for the head office sale has not been disclosed, although analysts estimate that it could be worth in the range of $93.8 million USD.

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