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Staples names executive VP, merchandising

BY Gina Acosta

New York — Staples said it has named Peter J. Scala as executive VP, merchandising, effective immediately. Scala will report to Demos Parneros, president, North American stores and online, and will be a member of the company’s executive committee.

Most recently, Scala served as senior VP of merchandising, online marketplace, leading the rapid expansion of Staples’ product assortment to support small and mid-size business customers.

“Peter is a passionate leader who has driven innovative thinking and strong partnerships during his career at Staples,” said Demos Parneros, president North American stores and online, Staples. “He will make a tremendous impact in his new role as we continue to provide our customers everything they need to succeed.” The company said the previous head merchant, Mike Edwards, has “resigned from Staples to pursue other interests.”

Prior to his current role, Scala held a variety of leadership positions within merchandising, including senior vice president/general merchandising manager technology. As senior VP, technology innovation, he led key advancements as head of Staples Future Tech and Best Tech initiatives. Scala joined Staples in 1996.

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Staples acquires Canadian promotional product firm from Golf Town

BY Dan Berthiaume

Framingham, Mass. – Staples Inc. will acquire Accolade Promotion Group (APG), a distributor of promotional products in Canada. The acquisition will build on Staples' position as a distributor of promotional products in North America and will expand the breadth of offering for its customers.

Currently a division of Golf Town, APG is a full-scale promotional merchandise agency that designs and delivers items for a number of well-known brands. Upon closing, APG will become part of the Staples portfolio and Dan Craig, managing director APG will become the managing director of SPP Canada. Pam Westman, the current managing director of Staples Promotional Products (SPP) in Canada will lead the integration of the acquisition and spearhead global expansion for SPP.

Terms and conditions of the acquisition were not disclosed.

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Rite Aid names former Safeway executive as CIO

BY Dan Berthiaume

Camp Hill, Pa. – Steve Rempel, who spent 35 years in a variety of executive positions at Safeway, has been named Rite Aid’s senior VP and CIO. In this position, Rempel will have responsibility for all aspects of the company’s technology and information operations, including computer systems, network infrastructure, telecommunications and data security.

"Steve is an information technology expert with a proven track record in creating, driving and delivering value and results through innovative technology solutions," said Frank Vitrano, senior VP and chief administrative officer for Rite Aid. "His vast retail experience will be extremely valuable to Rite Aid as we continue to develop our technology and services platforms and strategies to further strengthen our business operations and enhance the experiences of our valued customers and associates."

Rempel will report to Frank Vitrano, Rite Aid’s senior executive VP and chief administrative officer. Before joining Rite Aid, Rempel served as CIO, president and CEO for Balance Innovations, a provider of reconciliation and cash management solutions for the retail industry.

Rempel began his career at Safeway Inc. During his 35 years at Safeway, Rempel held a variety of IT positions with increasing responsibility. Serving as the organization’s group VP of application development, he had enterprise-wide responsibility for all elements of the IT applications process, including design, development, procurement, development and support.

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