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Neiman Marcus teams up with Popsugar in holiday gift offer

BY Staff Writer

New York — Luxury department store retailer Neiman Marcus and Popsugar, a global media and technology company, have partnered to create a limited-edition box filled with a luxury assortment of gifts that can be shipped directly to consumers’ homes.

Available just in time for the holiday season, the assortment will be hand-selected by Neiman Marcus fashion director Ken Downing and Popsugar founder and editor-in-chief Lisa Sugar. The box is marketed under Popsugar’s monthly subscription box service, Popsugar Must Have.

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Advance Auto Parts to acquire rival General Parts for $2.04 billion

BY Marianne Wilson

Roanoke, Va. — Advance Auto Parts will acquire General Parts International, a privately held parts maker. The all-cash deal has an enterprise value of $2.04 billion.

Based in Raleigh, N.C., General Parts, which owns the Carquest brand, has 1,246 company operated stores in North America. It also operates 1,418 independently owned Carquest locations primarily in the United States and Canada.

The transaction will create the largest automotive aftermarket parts provider in North America, with annual sales of more than $9.2 billion and more than 70,000 employees. The combined company will be headquartered in Roanoke, Va., and will maintain a presence in Raleigh, N.C.

O. Temple Sloan III, president of General Parts, will continue to serve as president of the company. He will report to Darren Jackson, CEO of Advance Auto Parts, and is expected to join the Advance Auto Parts board of directors.

“This transformational transaction provides a compelling strategic opportunity for Advance to expand our geographic presence and commercial capabilities to better serve customers,” said Jackson. “The addition of 1,246 company-operated stores and 1,418 independently owned Carquest locations provides us with an immediate platform and scale across North America, full market coverage and the opportunity to position ourselves as the market leader in the commercial business. We believe the combination of the two companies is a great fit and the synergy of GPII’s assets with our capabilities will allow us to capitalize on market opportunities that will create value for our shareholders and provide even better service to our customers. We welcome and look forward to working with the talented leaders and team members from GPII.”

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions and is expected to close by late 2013 or early 2014.

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Former Walmart exec Mullany new president at Toys “R” Us

BY CSA STAFF

Toys “R” Us late Wednesday named Antonio Urcelay CEO and brought in former Walmart executive Hank Mullany to serve in the newly created role of president of U.S. stores.

Urcelay, 61, had served in an interim CEO capacity since May and has been with the company since 1996. Mullany, 55, most recently served as CEO of The ServiceMaster Company, a position he assumed after his effort in 2010to join CVS Caremark as president of the retail division was blocked for competitive reason by Walmart where Mullany had served as EVP and president of Walmart’s northern business unit.

“When we started this search, we were looking for a leader with global experience, deep retail knowledge, proven capabilities and outstanding leadership skills,” according to a statement by the Toys “R” Us board. “As the search progressed, we found exactly the right combination of these attributes in Antonio and Hank. Antonio’s extensive knowledge of global markets makes him uniquely qualified to lead the organization as we expand rapidly in Asia and other parts of the world. He has impressed all of us with his vision and leadership of the team throughout the search process. Hank brings a fresh perspective to the business, which, in combination with his operational strengths, will help build on the significant progress that has been made in advancing the U.S. business.”

Urcelay will continue to provide worldwide leadership in driving key strategies and growth initiatives in the company’s more than 1,500 stores in 36 countries and jurisdictions around the world, according to Toys “R” Us. Mullany in his new role will oversee all merchandising, marketing, ecommerce and store operations responsibilities for the 878 store U.S. division.

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