OPERATIONS

Stein Mart promotes two execs to new role of president

BY Dan Berthiaume

Jacksonville, Fla. – The board of directors of Stein Mart Inc. has created the office of the president and have appointed D. Hunt Hawkins and Brian R. Morrow to share that office. Both will continue to report to Jay Stein, CEO.

Hawkins joined the company in 1994 as senior VP, HR. and has served as executive VP/COO in 2011. Morrow joined the company in 2010 as executive VP/chief merchandising officer. Prior to joining the company, Morrow served as senior VP/general merchandising manager with Macy’s North/Marshall Field’s from February 2005 to May 2008.

"Hunt and Brian have made significant contributions in the success of the Company," said Stein. "Their promotions are a testament to their leadership that has built a team that has produced seven consecutive quarters of comp store gains, a dramatic departure from the achievements of past management, and reflect the confidence the board and I have in them."

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OPERATIONS

Wal-Mart changes Asia management structure

BY Dan Berthiaume

Hong Kong — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is changing the management structure of its Asia operation with a series of promotions. Scott Price, currently president and CEO of Walmart Asia, will move to a senior management role as executive VP, international strategy and development, real estate, mergers and acquisitions, integration and purchase leverage, based at Wal-Mart’s world headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Greg Foran, currently president and CEO of Walmart China, has been named president and CEO, Walmart Asia, and will be based in the company’s Asia regional office in Hong Kong. Sean Clarke, Walmart China’s current COO, has been named president and CEO of Walmart China. The changes are effective June 1.

"These promotions allow us to tap into the extraordinary talent we have in our company, leverage their unique strengths to benefit the entire organization, and ensure continuity of leadership in China and the region," said David Cheesewright, president and CEO of Walmart International. "While these moves highlight the internal talent we have at Walmart, they also show how we are able to build global talent to meet the needs of the company wherever we operate."

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OPERATIONS

DSGE shuts down Southern Bullion

BY Dan Berthiaume

Dallas – DGSE Companies Inc. has closed all locations in its Southern Bullion Coin and Jewelry division. As previously disclosed, six Southern Bullion locations were closed in February, and subsequently, four additional locations were closed in early April, and the final 13 locations were closed on or about April 21, 2014.

Following these actions, DGSE Companies will continue to operate 12 retail locations, including nine Dallas Gold & Silver Exchange locations in Texas, one Bullion Express location in Illinois, and two Charleston Gold & Diamond Exchange locations in South Carolina along with Fairchild International, the company’s wholesale watch division.

The Southern Bullion division will be reclassified as discontinued operations. During 2013, these discontinued operations generated a net loss of approximately $1.9 million. Management believes that closing these locations will result in profitable continuing operations on an annualized basis.

DSGE expects to report approximately $3.7 million in 2014 in non-recurring charges related to these closures. This includes approximately $2.9 million in expected write-offs related to the Southern Bullion trade name, approximately $400,000 in expected fixed asset write-downs, and approximately $500,000 in expected lease termination expenses, severance payments and other related costs. The inventory from the Southern Bullion locations will be utilized throughout the company’s remaining 12 locations.

“Closing Southern Bullion was a necessary decision, as these locations represented approximately 20% of our revenue, but approximately 70% of our operating loss,” said Dusty Clem, chairman and CEO of DGSE Companies. “The significant change in the precious metal markets, including a 30% decline in the spot price of gold, had a disproportionately negative impact on the customer traffic, transactional volume and ultimately the profitability of the Southern Bullion division. These stores were unable to make the transition from gold-buying shops to the full exchange model that characterizes our successful operations in Dallas, Charleston and Chicago.”

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