OPERATIONS

Retail holiday hiring in 2012 reached highest level since 2006

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Hiring by the nation’s retailers this past holiday season was at the highest level in six years despite the uncertain economy, Superstorm Sandy and the presidential election, according to an analysis of government job data by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Chicago, a leading outplacement consultancy.

Between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 retailers added 728,300 jobs, which was 10.3% more than the same-three month period in 2011. The retail jobs added for the holiday 2012 season were the strongest year-end hiring surge since 2006, when employment in the retail sector increased by 746,900.

Much of the holiday hiring occurred in October and November when retailers added 149,600 jobs and 490,400 workers, respectively. Merchants hired 88,300 workers in December, down from the 147,600 hired in December 2011.

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OPERATIONS

President of Office Depot’s North American division resigns

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Office Depot announced that Kevin Peters had resigned from his role as president of the retailer’s North American division, effective immediately.

Office Depot said Peters was leaving the chain after five years to become CEO of an unidentified industrial distribution company.

"In his five years with Office Depot, Kevin was instrumental in building a strong team while driving the strategic vision for our North American sales channels and our supply chain organization," said Neil Austrian, Office Depot’s chairman and CEO. "We thank him for his many contributions to our company and wish him well in the future."

Austrian will now oversee the company’s North American business.

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OPERATIONS

RILA announces appointments in retail operations

BY Staff Writer

Arlington, Va. — The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) announced that Garth Gasse has joined the association as director of retail operations, asset protection and Lisa LaBruno has been promoted to SVP retail operations.

In her new capacity, LaBruno will oversee RILA’s operational efforts, which bring together executives from across the retail enterprise, including supply chain and asset protection, to address challenges and advance the retail industry. LaBruno will also play a major role in the planning of RILA’s educational and networking conferences.

Garth Gasse joins RILA following 14 years with Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us, most recently as regional asset protection manager. In his new role Gasse will work with loss prevention executives from across the retail industry to identify common challenges and leading practices. Gasse will report to Lisa LaBruno.

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