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Report: Orchard Supply given okay to hold liquidator auction

BY Katherine Boccaccio

San Jose, Calif. — A Wednesday report by Bloomberg said that Orchard Supply Hardware Stores Corp. has been given approval by the bankruptcy court to seek bids from liquidators to run going-out-of-business sales at eight underperforming stores and potentially another 22.

Orchard Supply, which currently has a $205 million offer from Lowe’s Cos. (LOW) for at least 60 of its 91 hardware stores, will hold a June 27 auction to determine which liquidator offers the best return for running its store closing sales. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Sontchi gave the okay at a Wednesday hearing in Wilmington, Del.

Orchard Supply sought bankruptcy protection on Tuesday. The company never fully recovered from its 2011 spin-off from Sears Holdings Corp., which left the chain with a heavy debt load.

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RILA elects Sears president to its board

BY CSA STAFF

Washington, D.C. – The Retail Industry Leaders Association elected Ron Boire, president of Sears and Kmart, to its board of directors, during its semi-annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

The board also re-elected Home Depot chair and CEO Francis Blake, 7-Eleven president and CEO Joseph DePinto, Petco CEO James Myers and J.C. Penney CEO Myron Ullman.

“We are pleased to welcome Ron Boire to the board,” said RILA President Sandy Kennedy. “His insight into the issues retailers face every day will bring added wisdom and foresight to this already stellar group. The contributions of this highly engaged group of retail executives sets RILA apart and allows us continue to deliver big wins for our members.”

The RILA board of directors is made up of chief executives from many of the United States’ largest retail companies which the association deems most innovative. The board meets in person twice a year to discuss issues facing the retail industry.

The trade association keeps itself at the forefront of issues pertinent to the retail industry, including tax reform, health care, labor and privacy, and has led numerous efforts to advance the industry’s public policy agenda. RILA’s current top public policy priority is passage of the Marketplace Fairness Act, a bill that would end what the association argues is the unfair advantage online-only retailers have over Main Street retailers as it relates to sales tax collection. The bill, which passed the U.S. Senate earlier this year with overwhelming bipartisan support, is currently under consideration in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Zimmer out at Men’s Wearhouse

BY CSA STAFF

Men’s Wearhouse said it terminated company founder and executive chairman George Zimmer on Wednesday and postponed its annual meeting.

No explanation was offered for Zimmer’s termination, but the company indicated the board of directors, "expects to discuss with Mr. Zimmer the extent, if any, and terms of his ongoing relationship with the company."

Zimmer founded the company in 1973 and popularized the phrase, "I guarantee it," when in 1986 he began appearing regularly television commercials for the company. He built Men’s Wearhouse into one of the nation’s largest specialty retailers with 1,143 stores.

The company was scheduled to hold its annual shareholders meeting on Wednesday, June 19, but due to Zimmer’s termination said it would reschedule the event to allow time to nominate a slate of directors that excludes Zimmer.

"Over the last 40 years, I have built the Men’s Wearhouse into a multibillion dollar company with amazing employees and loyal customers who value the products and service they receive at the Men’s Wearhouse," said Zimmer in a statement. "Over the past several months, I have expressed my concerns to the board about the direction the company is currently heading. Instead of fostering the kind of dialogue in the boardroom that has, in part, contributed to our success, the board has inappropriately chosen to silence my concerns by terminating me as an executive officer."

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