OPERATIONS

NRF: Retail employment up year-over-year, could be higher

BY Dan Berthiaume

Washington, D.C. – The National Retail Federation (NRF) calculated that retail employment was down 21,600 jobs in January 2014, yet up 230,000 jobs year-over-year. December retail employment figures were revised up to a gain of 57,000 jobs.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation report showed that January total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 113,000, with the unemployment rate at 6.6% and the labor force participation rate at 63%.

NRF research shows that much of the retail job loss was due to severe weather and localized in sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores. NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said the government needs to do more to improve the job situation.

“While it is always positive to see an increase in private sector hiring and a decrease in unemployment, it is alarming that employment can’t shift into a higher gear,” said Shay. “Despite seasonal factors at play in today’s employment report, it remains incumbent on policymakers to lead the nation’s recovery and move beyond partisan disputes over raising the debt ceiling and refocus attention on patent, tax and immigration reform, which will spur economic growth, opportunity and job creation.”

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OPERATIONS

Tractor Supply names Luxottica exec to board

BY Dan Berthiaume

Brentwood, Tenn. – Tractor Supply Company has named Mark J. Weikel to the company’s board of directors. Weikel currently serves as president and CEO of Luxottica Retail Optical North America.

Prior to his various positions at Luxottica, Weikel served as COO of Lord & Taylor. Before Lord & Taylor, Weikel was president & COO of Victoria’s Secret Stores at Limited Brands. Earlier in his career, Weikel held several management positions at the May Department Stores Company.

"We are delighted Mark is joining Tractor Supply’s board of directors,” said Cynthia Jamison, chairman of the board of Tractor Supply Company. “Mark brings a wealth of retail expertise that, combined with his demonstrated success in both operations and merchandising, will build upon the board’s leadership and expertise. We are confident that Mark’s leadership experience and business background will be valuable assets to the Tractor Supply board as we continue to grow our business."

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Fairway Markets CEO to retire

BY Staff Writer

New York — Fairway Holdings Corp., operators of Fairway Markets, announced that CEO Herbert Ruetsch will retire after fifteen years with the company, including the last two years as chief executive. Ruetsch will remain a special advisor to Fairway and continue to provide input into certain merchandising and product initiatives.

William Sanford, president of Fairway, will assume the role of interim CEO while the board undertakes a search for a permanent replacement.

Charles Santoro, executive chairman of Fairway, stated: "Herb Ruetsch has helped lead Fairway through a major transformation from a small family business into an iconic, growing specialty food retailer serving some 20 million customer visits annually in the tri-state area.”
Fairway also announced the promotions of Kevin McDonnell to co-president and COO and Edward Arditte to co-president and CFO.

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