OPERATIONS

Sears Outlet Store names new owners

BY Dan Berthiaume

Hoffman Estates, Ill. – Several Sears Outlet stores across the country have new owners. Locations in Oceanside, Ontario, and Corona, Calif., are now owned by Tony Lutfi. Lutfi and his team now own and operate 11 Sears Outlet stores, 17 Sears Home Appliance Showrooms and three Sears Appliance & Hardware Stores.

In addition, Sears Outlet stores Tempe and Gilbert, Ariz. have a new owner, Keith Edquist. Edquist also owns another Sears Outlet store and seven Sears Home Appliance Showrooms.

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Sears appoints Staples exec as Home Services head

BY Dan Berthiaume

Hoffman Estates, Ill. — Sears Holdings has named Arun Arora pany as senior VP and president, Home Services. In his new role with the company, Arora will be accountable for all aspects of the company’s Home Services business, including in-home repair services, service contracts, carry-in repair, Sears home improvement services, parts direct, commercial sales (all Sears Holdings product categories) and Sears franchise businesses.

Arora most recently served as the senior VP and general manager for Staples global e-commerce. In this role he was responsible for managing Staples’ online business, as well as the company’s inside-sales business. Prior to Staples, he held the role of CFO, Americas & treasurer, for Groupon Inc. His 22-year career spans across roles of increasing levels of responsibility in finance and corporate development with Beam Global Wine & Spirits Inc.; 3M Company; Mentor Graphics Inc.; Verari Systems Inc.; Sun Microsystems Inc.; Credit Suisse First Boston; and Goldman, Sachs & Co.

"Our customers and members invite us every day into their homes and trust us; we don’t take that for granted," said Edward S. Lampert, Sears Holdings Chairman and CEO. "Arun’s passion for both analytics and understanding the customer’s needs, along with his deep experience in integrated retailing, will be an asset to the organization."

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OPERATIONS

NRF to launch cybersecurity data sharing platform for retailers

BY Dan Berthiaume

Washington, D.C. – The National Retail Federation is moving forward with the creation of a program that will allow retailers to access to information on cybersecurity threats identified by other retailers, government and law enforcement agencies and partners in the financial services sector. The program, developed in consultation with the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), will launch with the establishment of an information-sharing platform for retail industry information security specialists, and plans call for a retail ISAC to be established in June 2014.

Recently, representatives from NRF held in-depth discussions with the U.S. Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies for insight and guidance on how to improve communication, identify available resources and collaborate more effectively to help retailers combat criminal cyber activity.

NRF has also retained the services of Kim Peretti, a partner in the law offices of Alston and Bird, LLC. Peretti is part of the firm’s White Collar Crime Group and co-chairs the Security Incident Management and Response Team. She is also a former director of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ cyber forensic investigation unit and a former senior litigator for the Department of Justice’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section.

As announced in January, the NRF is working closely with the cybersecurity professionals from The Chertoff Group to provide NRF members with insight and guidance in risk management and cybersecurity expertise.

“We believe a heightened and well-coordinated information sharing platform such as a retail ISAC is a vital component for helping retailers in their fight against cyber attacks,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Establishing a new program takes time, but time is not our friend when it comes to stopping these sophisticated and unpredictable criminals. The willingness of the FS-ISAC to work with retailers provides our industry with a new and important tool as we explore all of the options available for merchants to protect their customers and their businesses.”

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