OPERATIONS

NRF: High unemployment a concern as holiday season approaches

BY Staff Writer

Washington, D.C. — The National Retail Federation said Friday that high unemployment rates remain a concern as retailers head into the holiday season.

Following the announcement that U.S. employers added 103,000 jobs in September and that the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.1%, Matthew Shay, NRF president and CEO, said, “While the September jobs numbers were better than expected, there is no doubt the economy is still facing significant headwinds. With the start of the holiday season just three weeks away, the persistently high unemployment rate is expected to hinder consumer demand and impact confidence.”

Retailers will escalate hiring over the next several weeks as they prepare for holiday sales and traffic. The NRF said that retailers are expected to add 480,000-500,000 seasonal positions over the next several months.

“As we look ahead to a holiday season that will send $466 billion into the U.S. economy – a higher number than the estimated $447 billion cost of President Obama’s jobs bill – it is important to remember what a powerhouse the retail industry is,” said Shay.

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Home Depot names executive VP

BY Staff Writer

Atlanta — The Home Depot announced it has named Teresa Wynn Roseborough executive VP general counsel and corporate secretary, effective in November.

Roseborough, who will be responsible for leading The Home Depot’s legal department, as well as its government relations and corporate security services functions, joins the chain from MetLife, where she most recently served as deputy general counsel.

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Best Buy looks to regain tech leadership with hiring boost

BY Gail Hoffer

Minneapolis — Following a disappointing second quarter, Best Buy is looking to reposition itself as a tech leader with plans to hire more than 200 information technology professionals, with more than 100 new positions to be posted in the next several weeks.

Best Buy said Thursday it is looking to recruit skilled professionals from across the IT landscape, including e-commerce, business analytics, application development, engineering and project management.

"As a technology company that operates across a variety of channels, we’re always looking for ways to better serve our customers and employees,” said Jody Davids, CIO and senior VP global business services at Best Buy. "Bringing in the best and the brightest IT talent will help us to achieve our ongoing goals of providing a unique and engaging customer experience– whether in-store, online or across our mobile platforms – and creating a work environment for employees that encourages collaboration and sparks innovation."

For its second quarter, Best Buy reported a same-store sales decline of 2.8% that was mostly impacted by poor sales performance in television, gaming, digital imaging and physical media. The company reported net earnings of $177 million for its fiscal second quarter ended Aug. 27, compared with $254 million for the prior-year period.

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