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Sears Hometown and Outlet CEO to leave Aug. 1

BY CSA STAFF

Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores Inc., which had disappointing financial results in its last quarter, said CEO W. Bruce Johnson will leave the company Aug. 1.

The company also announced that the board of directors has commenced a search for a new CEO and has retained Heidrick & Struggles, a leading global executive search firm, to assist the Board in identifying and evaluating external and internal candidates.

William R. Harker, chairman of the board of directors, said: "The Board and I are very grateful for Bruce's many contributions and efforts since the Company was separated from Sears Holdings Corporation in October 2012. We will miss Bruce's strong leadership and insights." Johnson said, "I am proud of the Company's accomplishments since the separation. I will be leaving an excellent team in place that is dedicated to the Company's success. I believe the Company has a bright future."

Johnson has been a director and CEO and president of the company since July 2012. He served in various capacities as EVP of Sears Holdings Corp. from February 2011 until July 2012. He served as Sears Holdings' interim CEO and president from February 2008 to February 2011 and as a member of the Board of Directors of Sears Holdings from May 2010 to May 2011. He previously served as Sears Holdings' EVP, Supply Chain and Operations since the merger of Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Kmart Holding Corporation in 2005. Since July 2010 he has served on the Board of Visitors of Duke Law School, and since January 2009 he has served on the Board of Directors of the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, working on its finance committee.

In its March earnings report, Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores reported a 2.7% decline in net sales for 2014, a 5.7% drop in comparable store sales, and a $232.3 million decrease in operating income. Last year, it also recorded a $167 million charge for impairment of goodwill and another $13.1 million related to the reserve for potential losses on franchisee receivables.

Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores Inc. is a national retailer primarily focused on selling home appliances, hardware, tools, and lawn and garden equipment. As of Jan. 31 the company operated a total of 1,260 stores across all 50 states as well as in Puerto Rico and Bermuda.

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A ‘good thing’ for Staples and Martha Stewart

BY CSA STAFF

Staples is looking to Martha Stewart once again to re-invigorate its home office product assortment.

The retailer and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia have announced a new, multi-year strategic direct retail collaboration for the manufacture and distribution of a brand new line of Martha Stewart Home Office products.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Staples in a direct retail program that will enable us to grow our brand and bring our well-designed and affordable home organizing and home office products to consumers,” said Martha Stewart, Founder and Chief Creative Officer, MSO. “I’m very proud of our brand, which provides easy and attractive solutions, as well as the inspiration to create a beautiful, well-organized home office space.”

The assortment will be available at more than 1,100 Staples retail stores and online, and will include a wide array of home organizing and home office products across multiple categories, including: stationery and paper products, office essentials and tools, personal technology accessories and storage and organization. They will be available exclusively at Staples beginning November.

“At Staples, we’re excited to team up with Martha Stewart to bring a new line of beautiful Martha Stewart Home Office products to our customers,” said Demos Parneros, President North American Stores and Online, Staples. “The Martha Stewart Home Office products give our customers solutions they need to manage their home or home office in an attractive and functional way.”

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DSW veteran takes marketing helm at HSN

BY CSA STAFF

HSN Inc. has appointed a new chief marketing officer to drive growth for the $3.6 billion multichannel retailer.

The company named John Aylward as executive VP and chief marketing officer for HSN.

Most recently, he served as senior VP and head of marketing, brand engagement and media for footwear retailer DSW, which followed two years as VP of marketing for Starbucks' premium tea division, Teavana. He spent seven years, from 2006-2012, at Gap Inc. where he started as senior brand manager for Gap Europe, followed by director of marketing strategy of Gap North America, and then brand director for Gap Europe.


At HSN, Aylward will have operating responsibility for the development of the brand, and oversee integrated marketing, omnichannel marketing and creative.

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