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Sears Canada CEO resigns; appoints COO as new chief executive

BY Dan Berthiaume

Toronto – Sears Canada CEO Calvin McDonald has resigned to take a position with an unnamed international company. The retailer named COO and executive VP Douglas C. Campbell as president and CEO.

As COO, Campbell was responsible for retail store operations, logistics, replenishment, IT, corporate procurement, and international sourcing. Prior to joining Sears, Campbell was a principal with Boston Consulting Group and also an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps.

"I am excited about the opportunity to lead a company with such a great brand and history, and to continue to improve the performance of Sears," said Campbell. "I am eager to move us forward, to work closely with our management team and to continue to engage our customers and our 25,000 associates to better serve families and communities across Canada."

Canadian press reports indicate McDonald disagreed with parent company Sears Holdings about how quickly money was being spent to fund Sears’ turnaround effort.

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Walmart launches online ‘Get on the Shelf’ reality series

BY Dan Berthiaume

Bentonville, Ark. — Walmart is launching its first-ever original reality series developed for the web. The new weekly web series highlights 20 finalists in the Walmart Get on the Shelf contest, which lets entrepreneurs present products to Walmart customers.

Each week, four different finalists will showcase their product in an effort to gain public votes and get their item sold on Walmart.com, and possibly in Walmart stores. The five weekly "webisodes," which go live on Tuesdays from Sept. 24 through Oct. 22, feature a group of finalists under the same theme, such as Kid Stuff or Great Gadgets. The webisodes give viewers a chance to learn more about the entrepreneurs behind the inventions and watch as they pitch their product to a panel of Walmart.com judges.

After each weekly webisode, voters have 72 hours to cast their votes for the winner, who will have their product sold on Walmart.com. A grand prize winner will also be selected based on the number of preorders of the product, and will receive additional support marketing from Walmart.com plus an introduction to the Walmart stores’ merchandising team to potentially be sold in Walmart stores.

"Get on the Shelf celebrates the resilient and tenacious spirit of American entrepreneurs, many of whom have been working hard for a big break like this," said Kelly Thompson, senior VP of merchandising for Walmart.com. "The web series creates more exposure for finalists to share their inspiring stories, which makes for captivating reality TV that’s also interactive since American consumers can vote for the next great product at Walmart.com."

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Toys ‘R’ Us holiday hiring flat with last year

BY Dan Berthiaume

Wayne, N.J. – Toys “R” Us, Inc. plans to hire 45,000 employees to staff its stores and distribution centers nationwide for the upcoming holiday season. This number is basically flat from last year’s holiday staffing totals.

Hiring for positions in stores starts this week and will continue through December. Seasonal workers at Toys “R” Us stores fill a variety of positions ranging from sales associates to inventory replenishment employees, Additional seasonal jobs are available, including those designated specifically to help fulfill orders resulting from the company’s omnichannel offerings. Dedicated omnichannel teams work to ensure a seamless in-store and online shopping experience. Employment opportunities are also available at the company’s 10 distribution centers across the country, which began hiring in July and will continue through November.

Toys "R" Us widened its loss in the second quarter on lower sales at its stores in the United States and Europe. The company reported a loss of $113 million, compared with a year-earlier loss of $36 million.

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