FINANCE

PetSmart investor Longview joins Java in calling for sale

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – PetSmart investor Longview Asset Management LLC, Chicago, has joined activist investor Jana Partners in calling for the retail chain to consider a sale. Meanwhile, PetSmart said it was reviewing ways to return more cash to shareholders.

In a regulatory filing, PetSmart disclosed that its board of directors is considering changes to the company’s capital structure in order to return more capital to shareholders. The disclosure follows a July 3 announcement by Jana Partners that it holds a 9.9% stake in PetSmart and plans to ask the retailer to explore various options, including a sale.

PetSmart has not specifically said it will consider a sale, but previously said that it welcomes communication with shareholders and that its board and management are committed to creating value for shareholders. Jana, a $10 billion firm hedge firm run by Barry Rosenstein, has a reputation for pushing corporate managements to make changes

"The evaluation is ongoing and is consistent with the company’s commitment to driving shareholder value,” PetSmart stated in the disclosure. There is no assurance any new initiatives will be undertaken, and if so, the amount and timing of any such initiatives," PetSmart stated.

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EnTouch Controls expands accounts team as part of growth strategy

BY CSA STAFF

EnTouch Controls, a provider of cloud-based energy management services, is embarking on an aggressive growth strategy and to that end has appointed William Rickman as its new director of national accounts.

Rickman has more than a decade of experience of selling cloud-based financial services and fraud prevention solutions to the restaurant and retail markets.

In his new role, Rickman will be based in EnTouch’s St. Louis office, and will support large multi-unit franchisees and national accounts within restaurant and retail markets by leveraging EnTouch’s energy management services to significantly reduce energy costs, achieve sustainability objectives, regain control over their facilities and increase bottom line revenues.

Before EnTouch, Rickman served as director of franchise business development at Bill.com, providing cloud-based financial services to restaurants and retail companies. Prior to joining Bill.com, Rickman was VP of strategic accounts for Bank of America Merchant Services where he consulted with national retailers, higher education, government agencies and professional sports organizations with annual sales between $50 million and $3 billion.

“EnTouch is aggressively expanding its account team to meet the needs of our valued customers as well as to address the growing interest for our industry leading energy management solutions. Having a customer resource like William in the Midwest fills an important territory for us,” said Tom Kay, VP of sales and marketing for EnTouch Controls. “William not only brings a successful sales background, but also has experience in the franchise space, which gives him the right expertise to understand where our large multi-unit owners and operators are coming from. We look forward to having him on the team to help support our growing customer base.”

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Office Depot launches back-to-school promotion

BY CSA STAFF

Office Depot is kicking off its latest back-to-school campaign — Gotta Get It! — which includes more than 1,000 items for $5 or less in stores and online. The company is also offering a new price-match policy to shoppers year-round to drive traffic to Office Depot and OfficeMax locations.

“We recognize the start of a new school year can be both overwhelming and exciting for students and parents alike, Office Depot and OfficeMax are here to provide the essential school supplies that everyone is shopping for this season,” said Ron Lalla, EVP of merchandising for Office Depot. “We not only offer affordable options and stylish school supplies so parents and students can feel confident in the year ahead, but to make learning and shopping fun for the entire family.”

Office Depot stores offer the 5% Back to Schools Program, which helps shoppers give 5% back on their qualifying purchases to their school of choice. Teachers receive an additional discount during special Teacher Appreciation Days in July and August with Office Depot Rewards or MaxPerks Rewards programs, which are free to join at officedepot.com/rewards and officemaxperks.com.

New this year, OfficeMax and Kohl’s department stores are partnering to offer shoppers select school supplies in Kohl’s stores nationwide.

Effective immediately, Office Depot and OfficeMax will price-match items that are sold by any retailer who sells products in both retail stores and online under the same brand. Both retailers are also matching prices of products sold and shipped by Amazon and Reliable.com. Additionally, Office Depot and OfficeMax now have an extended 90-day return policy for supplies, and any item purchased on officedepot.com or officemax.com can be returned in store.

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