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Report: Sears to spin off Hometown, Outlet into separate public company

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Hoffman Estates, Ill. — A report released Monday by the Associated Press said that Sears Holdings Corp. would be spinning off its Hometown and Outlet stores, along with some hardware stores, into a separate, publicly traded company.

Earlier this year, Sears had revealed it would split the companies but had not indicated the new organization would be a separate public entity.

There are approximately 1,238 Hometown, Outlet and hardware stores. Five Hometown stores have been closed, along with eight hardware stores and one Outlet unit.

Sears has not disclosed how much money it expects to raise with the spin-offs, but had projected earlier the deal would raise between $400 million and $500 million. Sears chairman Edward Lampert’s ESL Investments will own a majority stake in the business being spun off.

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IKEA Canada adds interactive element to catalog

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Burlington, Ontario, Canada — IKEA Canada announced Monday that its new catalog, debuting Aug. 13, has incorporated a host of interactive elements designed for smartphones and tablets.

When holding a smartphone or tablet over a page, users are able to access films about IKEA products, experience 3D models, look behind closed doors with an X-ray function or change curtains and get creative.

Users will access the bonus material by downloading the IKEA app to smartphones or tablets, or by visiting www.IKEA.ca.

A selection of preview pages from the 2013 catalog will be posted on Pinterest, to allow viewers to “pin” favorite items and enter to win IKEA gift cards.

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French retailer Auchan inks franchise deal with India’s Max Hypermarket

BY Staff Writer

Dubai, India — A Monday report by Reuters said that French retailer Auchan has entered into a franchise agreement with Max Hypermarket, India.

Max operates 13 hypermarkets in India, which will be rebranded as Auchan stores in early 2013.

The pair said they plan to open 12-15 new stores annually across India. Because Max Hypermarket India Ltd is controlled by retail and hospitality company Landmark Group, which operates hypermarkets under the Max brand only in India and therefore is not restricted under foreign ownership regulations.

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