FINANCE

Sears Restructures Business Units

BY CSA STAFF

Hoffman Estates, Ill., Sears Holdings Corp. on Tuesday revealed new information regarding its decentralized structure designed to help the company jump-start its business following recent profit declines.

Sears Holdings said it will have five business units under the new decentralized structure, each focused on specific categories and capabilities. These units are: operating businesses, support, brands, online and real estate. Each unit will have a leader and advisory group. Senior Holdings executives will oversee performance.

“We are convinced that our businesses can operate more efficiently and effectively, and we continue to look for ways to make that happen,” said Sears Holdings chairman Edward S. Lampert.

Sears Holdings was formed after the 2005 merger of Kmart and Sears. At that time, the company initially focused on a centrally managed structure to control costs and focus on integrating the two companies. The new corporate structure, however, will “create smaller, focused teams that are clearly responsible for their units,” Lampert said. “These units will increase autonomy and accountability, create greater ownership and enable faster, better decisions.”

The operating business unit will focus on current product lines, such as appliances, apparel and electronics. Support will include marketing, store operations and customer strategy. The real estate and online units will focus on increasing the sales productivity of real and virtual holdings.

Sears Holdings has reported profit declines for the past two quarters, and sales at stores open at least a year have fallen at both Kmart and Sears for the past seven quarters.

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Safeway to reward healthy workers

BY CSA STAFF

Pleasanton, Calif. Safeway reportedly is offering health insurance discounts to employees who participate in a program that tracks their food buying habits.

The company, according to reports, said it would reward those workers who demonstrate that they live a healthy lifestyle with lower premiums.

The Safeway plan will be connected to the company’s online FoodFlex service, which launched in November as a way to encourage healthy shopping, according to reports. Participating customers provide details on their family’s health and lifestyle and are given nutritional analysis of their store purchases, delivered through their Safeway card.

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Penneys partners with green expert Seo

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK JCPenney is partnering with green lifestyle expert Danny Seo, who will help the retailer determine which of its private brands are eco-friendly.

Seo announced in his blog last week that he had been working with JCPenney as its Green Living Partner to assist the retailer in its designation of green products. Beginning in March, customers will find products marked as eco-friendly at JCPenney stores and at jcp.com.

Seo has come to be regarded as an expert on environmental living. He has written several books on how to live a green life without sacrificing style including Conscious Style Home.

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