OPERATIONS

Office Depot to shutter Canadian OfficeMax Grand & Toy stores

BY Dan Berthiaume

Toronto – OfficeMax Grand & Toy, an affiliate of Office Depot, Inc., will close all of its 19 Canadian retail stores. OfficeMax Grand & Toy will continue to service its business customers via the company’s e-commerce website, customer service centers and direct sales representatives.

The 19 retail outlets, located in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia and Manitoba, will begin closing in the next few months. Approximately 160 employees, both full time and part time, will be impacted by the store closures. The retailer said only 3% of its sales come from in-store walk-ins.

“We are concentrating our efforts on ways to better serve our customers in response to their changing business needs,” said Simon Finch, general manager, OfficeMax Grand & Toy. “Our customers overwhelmingly prefer an online experience because it offers more products, a constantly growing selection, and convenient door-to-door delivery.”

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Report: Amazon pilots in-house delivery service

BY Dan Berthiaume

Seattle – Amazon.com is reportedly piloting an in-house delivery service that would use trucks driven by Amazon-hired contractors to deliver packages from area distribution centers to customer homes. According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon.com is testing the service in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York.

The service could potentially reduce shipping times and costs and also enable same-day shipping. It is also seen as a direct competitive move against UPS, as well as Wal-Mart, EBay and Google.

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Stein Mart promotes two execs to new role of president

BY Dan Berthiaume

Jacksonville, Fla. – The board of directors of Stein Mart Inc. has created the office of the president and have appointed D. Hunt Hawkins and Brian R. Morrow to share that office. Both will continue to report to Jay Stein, CEO.

Hawkins joined the company in 1994 as senior VP, HR. and has served as executive VP/COO in 2011. Morrow joined the company in 2010 as executive VP/chief merchandising officer. Prior to joining the company, Morrow served as senior VP/general merchandising manager with Macy’s North/Marshall Field’s from February 2005 to May 2008.

"Hunt and Brian have made significant contributions in the success of the Company," said Stein. "Their promotions are a testament to their leadership that has built a team that has produced seven consecutive quarters of comp store gains, a dramatic departure from the achievements of past management, and reflect the confidence the board and I have in them."

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