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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OPERATIONS

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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STORE SPACES

Tesco to debut F&F apparel format in U.S., with seven stores by year-end

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Tesco Plc plans to bring its value-priced F&F clothing format to the United States, opening seven stores on the East Coast this year with its U.S. franchise partner, Retail Group of America. The move comes some six months after Tesco sold off its struggling American supermarket operation, Fresh & Easy, to Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa investment company.

The new stores will feature women’s, men’s and kid’s clothing, with the first location expected to open in May, in the Boston area. It will be followed by four stores in shopping malls in New York, along with stores in Philadelphia and Newport, Va. (See end of story for a list of announced locations to date.)

Tesco launched F&F in 2001. It now operates in 21 countries.

“We’re delighted to be bringing F&F’s range of affordable fashion to customers in the USA this year, including four stores in one of the world’s fashion and shopping capitals, New York,” said Jason Tarry, CEO of F&F. “We’ve had a really positive response from customers in all of our overseas markets so we’re hoping our American stores prove to be just as popular. F&F is fast becoming a true global brand.”

F&F will be opening franchise stores in the following locations in the United States:

• Springfield Holyoke Mall, Maryland
• New York Palisades Centre, New York
• Newport News Patrick Henry Mall, Virginia
• New York Trumbull Mall, New York
• Exton Mall, Pennsylvania
• New York Sunrise Mall, New York
• New York South Shore Mall, New York

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