OPERATIONS

Report: Sears arms associates with iPads and iPod touches

BY Staff Writer

New York City — Sears has given store associates more than 5,000 Apple iPads and 11,000 iPod touches to track inventory and customer orders, Lou D’Ambrosio, CEO, Sears Holdings Corp., said in a Bloomberg report.

In the article, D’Ambrosio also took on critics who have complained that Sears has not invested enough in its stores. The chain is spending less than a quarter of the $8 per square foot that retailers typically invest to maintain stores, according to International Strategy & Investment Group, according to the report.

“Sure we want to have stores that look nice so we’re investing in fixtures, paint and new designs but store appearance in itself isn’t enough,” D’Ambrosio said. “Borders had great bathrooms but that didn’t help them because they missed the e-book revolution in their industry.”

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BJ’s taps People Answers for talent assessment

BY Staff Writer

Dallas — PeopleAnswers announced a new agreement in which BJ’s Wholesale Club will use the PeopleAnswers’ solution to help select team members in all locations across 15 eastern states.

BJ’s uses the PeopleAnswers pre-employment assessment software as a tool for identifying, selecting and hiring candidates for hourly positions in 15 of its clubs. Over the next several months, it plans to implement PeopleAnswers in the remaining 177 clubs. The hope is to bring additional consistency to BJ’s hiring process for its clubs and to implement a tool that is capable of supporting an increasing number of job candidates as additional clubs open.

“PeopleAnswers has proven to streamline the hiring process across the 15 clubs involved in the initial rollout,” said Susan Hoffman, senior VP human resources and chief people officer at BJ’s Wholesale Club. “PeopleAnswers’ HR solution will help BJ’s be more competitive in the selection of Team Members and support even smoother club openings.”

PeopleAnswers identifies the Behavioral DNA® of existing team members to create customized, behaviorally based “Performance Profiles” that assist in identifying those who meet BJ’s hiring criteria. After candidates complete the PeopleAnswers assessment, the software matches them with the BJ’s positions best corresponding with their existing behaviors and tendencies. BJ’s human resources and hiring managers will also use PeopleAnswers as a guide for interview content.

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Sears hires former Brookstone chief executive to lead merchandising

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — Sears Holdings Corp. hired Ron Boire, the former president and chief executive of Brookstone Inc. to lead its merchandising and retail stores for both the Sears and Kmart brands. Prior to Brookstone, Boire served as president, U.S. Toys, North America for Toys “R” Us from 2006 to 2009, where he was in charge of merchandising, marketing and operations

"We are in the midst of a transformation of our business, from top to bottom…," Sears CEO Lou D’Ambrosio said in a statement on Tuesday.

The appointment comes one week after Sears posted disappointing holiday sales results and decided to close as many as 120 stores.

"I understand the company’s challenges, but I am more persuaded by the company’s opportunities and strengths," Boire said about his new assignment at Sears.

Boire also worked as a global merchandise manager for Best Buy, and in an array of senior roles at Sony Electronics Inc.

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