OPERATIONS

Wet Seal names Sears exec as CEO

BY Marianne Wilson

Foothill Ranch, Calif. — The Wet Seal has named John D. Goodman to serve as its new CEO, with his appointment effective Jan. 7. He replaces former CEO Susan McGalla, who was fired by the company in July 2012 amid sliding sales.

Goodman, who initially joined the Wet Seal as a board member in September 2012, is an apparel industry executive with over 25 years of experience at companies such as Gap, Inc., Levi Strauss & Co., Mervyn’s, and Bloomingdale’s. Most recently, he served as EVP, chief apparel and home officer, Sears Holdings, overseeing both the Sears and Kmart brands. From 2008 to 2009, he led the turnaround at Charlotte Russe.

"I have always viewed Wet Seal as a pioneer in fast fashion and am thrilled to join the company as CEO," Goodman said "I am honored to have this opportunity to work with the company’s executives and associates in both merchandising and operations and return the brand to its roots and drive long-term success.”

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OPERATIONS

Retail holiday hiring in 2012 reached highest level since 2006

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Hiring by the nation’s retailers this past holiday season was at the highest level in six years despite the uncertain economy, Superstorm Sandy and the presidential election, according to an analysis of government job data by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Chicago, a leading outplacement consultancy.

Between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 retailers added 728,300 jobs, which was 10.3% more than the same-three month period in 2011. The retail jobs added for the holiday 2012 season were the strongest year-end hiring surge since 2006, when employment in the retail sector increased by 746,900.

Much of the holiday hiring occurred in October and November when retailers added 149,600 jobs and 490,400 workers, respectively. Merchants hired 88,300 workers in December, down from the 147,600 hired in December 2011.

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OfficeMax launches into the Cloud

BY CSA STAFF

NAPERVILLE, Ill. — OfficeMax is ready to help its customers get more organized by offering them cloud service solutions.

OfficeMaxWorkplaceSM, the U.S. contract business for OfficeMax, has launched new cloud services powered by Xerox, making OfficeMax Workplace the only business-to-business office supplies and solutions provider to add Xerox’s cloud services to its holistic suite of work-better solutions for business customers. Additionally, starting in February, OfficeMax stores nationwide will also provide access to MiMedia cloud services for consumers and small businesses. Both cloud service programs allow OfficeMax to provide consumers and businesses of all sizes with a cost-effective way to access, manage, share and recover files from many mobile devices.

"Medium to small businesses are increasingly finding that the cloud can offer them technology solutions that allow for consolidation of separate applications, and reduced on-site support and software/hardware purchase," said John Kenning, EVP and president of OfficeMax Workplace. "Our new cloud service offering makes these businesses competitive and offers previously unavailable technology solutions that are cost effective, agile and flexible."

For small businesses and home consumers, MiMedia cloud services available through OfficeMax stores will provide an easy-to-use way to automatically back-up, store, access and share their files on demand, including many popular business files and presentations, and even music, videos and photos for personal use.

"Cloud storage isn’t just for large organizations. More entrepreneurs and consumers are using mobile devices to create content, and then leveraging the cloud as a preferred solution to store, access and share data that smart phones and tablets create," explains Michael Lewis, EVP and president of retail at OfficeMax. "We’re pleased to provide these innovators with access to sophisticated yet easy-to-use cloud solutions that don’t require IT staff to set up or manage."

The cloud-based services for business launched by OfficeMax Workplace and powered by Xerox deliver software and related applications through off-site data storage, allowing businesses and employees to gain access to their computers from virtually any place at any time. Organizations can also control much of their hardware, server, storage and networking management tasks from one streamlined online dashboard. Xerox’s cloud-based mobile device management service allows organizations to realize cost savings while simplifying how they identify, manage, secure, track and recover data across many employees’ work-related mobile devices, such as smartphones, laptops and tablets. OfficeMax Workplace provides access to trained technical representatives to answer questions and help organizations develop individualized cloud-based solutions.

MiMedia is the only retail-based cloud services provider to offer nine key high-demand features in one package, including automatic file back-up; cloud storage; real-time streaming across more than 100 photo, video and audio music formats; and easy file sharing across more than 20 social networks. The service also includes access to MiMedia’s apps for iPad, iPhone and Android.

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