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Myron ‘Mike’ Ullman

BY CSA STAFF

Myron “Mike” Ullman, 60, is the very epitome of a seasoned retail veteran, but he retains the same curiosity and drive to win as someone just out of the starting gate. The J.C. Penney chief came to the Plano, Texas-based chain by way of R.H. Macy & Co. (where he was chairman and CEO) and Federated. Since arriving at Penney in late 2004, Ullman has added spring to the steps of the chain’s employees and executives, reinvigorating the century-old corporate culture and the stores themselves. New policies for recognizing and rewarding associates, zippy new marketing campaigns, trendy pop-up stores, exclusive merchandise deals, and a renewed focus on customers and merchandise are adding shine and polish to a once-tired department store chain. Under Ullman, Penney also is aggressively expanding its square footage, mostly with off-the-mall stores.

While Penney is experiencing the same late-2007 downturn of other department store retailers, analysts are sticking by the chain, saying that its unique merchandise, competitive prices and seasoned management should insulate Penney more so than its peers. Ullman is looking ahead, announcing his chain will stick to its growth plan of opening 50 stores a year.

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Borders to offer free resolution workshops

BY CSA STAFF

ANN ARBOR, Mich. Borders said Thursday that it is offering customers free in store events throughout the month of January to help them kick start their new year’s resolutions and learn how to keep them through the year. Programs include wellness fairs, yoga classes and diet seminars.

Borders reported that local organizations and community groups will be featured in activities and events at its stores across the country ranging from fitness centers and hospitals to singles groups and retirement centers.

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Schulze sells 440K shares of company stock

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Best Buy chairman and founder Richard Schulze sold 440,000 shares of Best Buy stock last week valued at $22.4 million. Schulze sold the stock at prices ranging from $50.71 to $51.18 per share. Earlier this month, Schulze sold 2.35 million shares valued at more than $120 million.

While Schulze’s stock sales are considerable, they represent just a fraction of his holdings at Best Buy. He’s estimated to still hold more than 68 million shares of stock amassed during 41 years with the company.

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