News

Sears Plans ‘Mass Layoff’ of 250 Workers

BY CSA STAFF

Hoffman Estates, Ill., Sears Holding Corp. plans a “mass layoff” of 250 employees at its Hoffman Estates, Ill., headquarters, according to a report filed with state’s Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The state defines a massive layoff as 250 or more full-time employees or at least 25 workers if they comprise at least a third of the employer’s work force. A 2004 state law mandates that employers with at least 75 full-time workers must provide 60-days notice to workers and to the state for mass layoffs or a plant closing.

Sears declined to comment on the filing, but the commerce department’s Web site indicates that 250 workers at the Chicago suburb headquarters would be affected, published reports say. The company sent an e-mail to employees earlier in the week warning of future changes to benefits packages, to be implemented early next year.

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News

Gap Administrative and Compliance Exec Resigns

BY CSA STAFF

San FranciscoSan Francisco, Gap Inc. says that Ann Gust will resign as the retailer’s executive VP, chief administrative officer and chief compliance officer effective May 13. She has been with the retailer for 14 years.

Gust’s compliance responsibilities will fall to Lauri Shanahan, who also will continue to serve as executive VP, general counsel and corporate secretary. Gust’s chief administrative responsibilities will be divided among several executives at Gap including executive VP and CFO Byron Pollitt.

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FINANCE

Deb Shops Boosts Income, Rex Stores Struggles

BY CSA STAFF

Philadelphia, Deb Shops Inc. reported preliminary fourth-quarter net income of $10.6 million, up 23.3% from the same quarter the year before. The improvement was supported by a 2.4% gain in sales to $82.6 million. For the year, Deb Shops posted a 39.8% gain in net income to $17.9 million and a 1.7% lift in net sales to $303.8 million.

In other earnings news, Dayton, Ohio-based consumer electronics retailer Rex Stores Corp. posted net income of $16.8 million in its recently completed fourth quarter, down 1.7% from the year before. Sales fell 4% to $125.4 million in the quarter, due in part to a 2% dip in same-store sales. For the year, the retailer’s income remained flat at $27.5 million. Sales declined 3.5% to $391.3 million on same-store sales shrinkage of 2%.

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