OPERATIONS

Office Depot promotes Steve Schmidt to international president

BY Staff Writer

Boca Raton, Fla. — Office Depot said Monday that it has promoted current executive VP, corporate strategy and new business development Steve Schmidt to the position of president international.

Schmidt, who will report to CEO Neil Austrian, will oversee Office Depot’s multichannel International business.

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OPERATIONS

Crate and Barrel unveils succession plan

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Northbrook, Ill. — Crate and Barrel announced Friday that its president and CEO Barbara Turf, who is retiring spring 2012, will be succeeded by current company COO Sascha Bopp, who becomes CEO effective April 2012.

Current CB2 director Marta Calle will become president, in charge of merchandising and marketing, and will report to Bopp.

In her more than 40 years with Crate and Barrel, Turf has played an integral role in the growth of the company, including spearheading the launch of the company’s CB2 brand in 2000 and introducing children’s retailer, The Land of Nod, to the Crate and Barrel family of brands in 2001.

Crate and Barrel is privately held by the Otto Group of Hamburg, Germany.

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OPERATIONS

Christopher & Banks to close 100 stores over next three months

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Minneapolis — Christopher & Banks Corp. announced Friday that it will close about 100 underperforming stores over the next three months, as part of a restructuring plan that also includes format consolidations and workforce reductions.

The women’s apparel retailer said it plans to complete most of the store closings by the end of January 2012, and will accelerate plans to convert or consolidate a number of its existing Christopher & Banks and CJ Banks stores into dual-format stores.

The company also announced that it has implemented a previously announced workforce reduction involving its home office and field management organization.

“We anticipate that these initiatives will help us to both improve overall store productivity and support our return to profitability,” said Larry Barenbaum, president and CEO. RCS Real Estate Advisors, based in New York City, analyzed the store portfolio and assisted Christopher & Banks with the strategic decisions to cut stores.

The workforce reduction impacted 7% of the corporate headquarters employees, excluding the DC, and 13% of its store operations field management team. The retailer currently operates 761 stores in 45 states consisting of 472 Christopher & Banks stores, 238 CJ Banks plus-size stores, 28 dual-concept stores and 23 outlet stores.

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