OPERATIONS

OSH names new senior VP merchandising

BY CSA STAFF

San Jose, Calif.-based Orchard Supply Hardware announced the appointment of Steve Olsen as senior VP merchandising effective Monday.

“Steve’s experience in developing and implementing competitive product assortment, pricing, vendor management and business performance management strategies will deliver enhanced value and service to our customers. Steve will be a great addition to OSH as a senior leader,” said president and CEO Rob Lynch.

Olsen previously served as VP merchandising for supplies and VP merchandising for strategy and services for Office Depot. Prior to that, he was with Accenture Consulting, providing project management to retail brands including Best Buy, CVS, Sears Canada, Filene’s Basement, Hudson Bay Co. and Linens ’n Things.

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Home goods looking good, for some

BY CSA STAFF

The success one retailer has in a given category can oftentimes be an indicator of a rising tide lifting all boats, which is why results last week from Bed Bath & Beyond are of particular interest to Target. The home goods specialist said first-quarter sales for the period ended May 29 increased 13.5% to $1.9 billion and same-store sales increased 8.4%. Earnings per share surged 53% to 52 cents a share.

Target is a major player in the home category, and last year it said the home furnishings and decor category accounted for 19% of total sales of $63.4 billion. As defined by Target, the category includes furniture, lighting, kitchenware, small appliances, home decor, bed and bath, home improvement, automotive and such seasonal merchandise sas patio furniture and holiday decor.

A strong performance by Bed Bath & Beyond is either an indication that the overall category is looking up, despite some significant ongoing difficulties in the housing market, or simply an example of a well-positioned superior operator gaining share from competitors, one of whom is possibly Target. The company has certainly had mixed things to say about the home category during the three month period that overlaps with Bed Bath & Beyond’s first quarter. For example, In May, comps in home were down slightly with a low single digit increase in the decorative home category and softness in housewares. In April, comps were moderately better than the total company decline of 5.9% and were led by a low single digit increase in the decorative home category with the softest performance in seasonal categories. In March, comps in home increased in the mid-to-upper single-digit range with the strongest results in the seasonal categories and weaker performance in housewares.

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Former Ace director dies at 89

BY CSA STAFF

Gregg Ziegler, the past director and vice chairman of Ace Hardware Corp.’s board of directors, was laid to rest last week. He was 89.

The World War II veteran joined the family business, Ziegler’s Ace Hardware, after graduating from college in 1947. He was the recipient of the 1983 Illinois Retail Merchants Association’s Retailer of the Year. Today, Ziegler’s Ace operates 11 locations in Illinois.

According to his obituary in the Chicago Tribune, Ziegler was also an accomplished driver who set the NASCAR record for the Flying Mile event at Daytona Beach in 1960.

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