Personnel Updates:

Blockbuster’s new owner Dish Network (EchoStar Communications) announced that it has named a president for its newly-acquired subsidiary, Michael Kelly, who most recently served as Exec VP of Dish Network’s commercial services division as well as both the direct sales and media sales organizations and played a key role in Dish Network’s purchase of Blockbuster. has been charged with returning the struggling retailer to profitability.
OfficeMax announced that Bob Thacker, Senior VP of Marketing and Advertising has left the company. 
RadioShack Chairman and CEO Julian Day has retired from the post he has held since 2006, and the company plans to split the roles between CFO Jim Gooch, who will take over as CEO, and presiding director Daniel Feehan, who will become Chairman.
Staples has announced new appointments at its European division. Amee Chande has been named Managing Director U.K. Retail and Direct and Andrew Gabriel has been named Director Technology and Services, European Retail.
Staples, Inc  announced that Senior VP, General Council Kristin Campbell has left the company and will move on to a position with Hilton Worldwide.
Walmart’s Senior VP of Small Format Division, Santiago Roces left Walmart to serve as CEO of Supervalu’s small format, low-price Sav-A-Lot division.
Walmart Stores has replaced two of its top executives in China who resigned earlier this month.  Mario-José Medina will serve as the head of Walmart financial operations in China. He previously worked as the CFO of Walmart Chile, and was hired in 2007 to be the CFO of Walmart Puerto Rico.  The company also said that Del Sloneker, a former Senior VP, will become COO in China.  The appointments come after previous China CFO Roland Lawrence, along with COO Rob Cissell, resigned in mid-May.
Mergers and Acquisitions:

Big Lots is expanding its retail operations outside of the United States for the first time with the announcement that it has agreed to purchase all of the outstanding stock of Liquidation World Inc., an Ontario based retailer which operates 92 closeout stores in Canada
Under the terms of the agreement, the company would, subject to closing conditions and approval by the shareholders of Liquidation World, acquire all outstanding shares of Liquidation World for 6 cents per share (CAD), or approximately $1.8 million (CAD).  The company estimatesinitial investment would approximate $36 million (CAD), including payment for the acquisition of all outstanding shares, satisfying the debt of Liquidation World, and normalizing the working capital needs of the business.  The company said it anticipates the transaction will be completed by July 31.
Real Estate:

Best Buy announced plans to cut its big-box store square footage by 10 percent during the next three to five years and focus on boosting its online presence.
Disney Store plans to open its interactive concept stores in more than 40 locations in 2011 the company announced today at the Global Retail Real Estate Convention in Las Vegas.  The company said that by the end of 2011, it will have 60 new concept stores in 16 major markets in North America and eight countries. In spring 2012, the original Disney Store location at the Glendale Galleria in Glendale, Calif., will be remodeled to celebrate the retail chain’s 25th anniversary. First built in 1987, the store pioneered the entertainment retail concept. The Glendale store will be just one of many planned remodels in 2012.
New and remodeled Disney Store locations to open throughout the fall and winter of 2011 include:
Disney Store’s Florida Mall location in Orlando will be remodeled this fall with the new design, and Pembroke Lakes Mall in Pembroke Pines, Fla.
will open an all-new location.
Locations in Canada’s West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta and Southcentre Mall in Calgary will open this fall. Kenwood Towne Center in Cincinnati will receive the first newly-designed Disney Store in the state of OhioTexas will celebrate the opening of Disney Store locations at La Plaza mall in McAllen, and Houston Galleria in HoustonThe first newly-designed Disney Store in Missouri will open at the St. Louis Galleria.
California will get two new locations this fall with stores opening in the Galleria at Roseville in Roseville, Calif. and Westfield Fashion Square in Sherman Oaks, Calif.
Dollar General announced its plans to expand its operations to California in 2012.
The California announcement comes on the heels of the company’s planned expansions into three new states in 2011 — Connecticut, Nevada and New Hampshire.
Marbles: The Brain Store, the Chicago-based retailer that sells toys and other products designed to stimulate and strengthen the brain, announced that it has received $5.5 million from private investors, which the company will use to open 10 stores on the East Coast and in Chicago this year.  Nine of the new shops will be in New Jersey, Massachusetts and Maryland, with one in Chicago, CEO Lindsay Gaskins said. Marbles is looking to expand to the West Coast and the South in 2012.
Target has unveiled the first wave of the Zellers sites it will be taking over in Canada, representing 105 locations in all 10 Canadian provinces.  The vast majority of the sites will become Target stores after securing the necessary construction approval for extensive renovation. The stores will open beginning in 2013.

The majority (45) of the locations are in Ontario, with 19 in Quebec. The other Canadian locations include 15 in British Columbia, 13 in Alberta, five Manitoba, two each in Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador, and one each in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
Each selected site is subleased to Zellers and will continue to operate as a Zellers store for some time.  Six to nine months prior to opening as Target stores, the majority of stores will be closed for significant remodeling. On average, about $10 million will be invested in remodeling each location.
Target also announced that its Canadian headquarters will be located in Mississauga, Ontario. The company will occupy about 180,000 sq. ft. in a building that was built to LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Gold standards and is owned by Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan. After some remodeling, the majority of Target’s Canadian corporate team will begin occupying the space in early 2012.
Green Initiatives:

Target announced that its Canadian headquarters will be located in Mississauga, Ontario and will occupy about 180,000 sq. ft. in a building that was built to LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Gold standards and is owned by Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan.
Toys”R”Us is installing the largest rooftop solar power installation in North America at its distribution center in Flanders, N.J. Staging for the system is currently underway and construction will conclude this summer. Upon completion, the 5.38 megawatt on-site solar array will occupy 869,294 sq. ft. It is estimated to generate 72% of the electrical needs for the Toys”R”Us facility, which is the largest of the chain’s 10 DCs and covers over 1.5 million sq. ft., in addition to the roof, which spans 32 acres.
Constellation Energy will build, own and maintain the system. Toys”R”Us will purchase the electricity generated by the system from Constellation Energy through a 20-year power purchase agreement.
The Toys“R”Us solar power installation will cover nearly 70% of the distribution center’s 1,281,000-sq-ft. roof and will consist of more than 37,000 ultra lightweight Uni-Solar brand photovoltaic solar panels, manufactured by United Solar, a subsidiary of Energy Conversion Devices.

Depending on weather conditions, the system is expected to produce approximately 6,362,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity each year. Generating the same amount of electricity using non-renewable sources would result in the release of an estimated 4,387 metric tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent emissions from 860 passenger vehicles or that of the electricity used to power 532 homes annually.
The solar power system is comprised of thin-film photovoltaic panels that are flexible, lightweight, durable and maintain performance, even in sub-optimal lighting conditions. In addition, the non-ballasted, non-penetrating and removable racking system allows access to the roof and prevents debris build-up and maintenance issues.

Beyond the solar project in Flanders, N.J., the company is making a number of sustainable upgrades to its existing stores around the country and incorporating renewable and energy efficient features into its new locations. In January 2010, a rooftop solar power system was installed at the Babies “R” Us in North Brunswick, N.J., through a partnership with the developer. It currently provides approximately 67% of the electricity needs for the location.
Walmart Canada opened up a sustainable perishable food distribution center in Balzac, Canada. The retailing giant spent $115 million to build the 400,000-square-foot DC—a state-of-the-art facility that is an estimated 60 percent more energy-efficient than Walmart’s traditional refrigerated warehouses.
The facility’s environmental features will help Walmart Canada to save approximately $4.8 million in energy costs over five years. One of North America’s most energy-efficient distribution centers, the building is a living lab of sustainability and includes the company’s first full pilots of hydrogen fuel cells, solar thermal and wind power, as well as many other sustainability features and products.

The facility was built and is operated with rigid environmental standards. Many of the features and processes that were incorporated into it will drive down supply chain costs, which supports both revenue growth potential—and Walmart’s belief that environmental and business sustainability can be complementary. For taking this leadership role in environmental stewardship, and building an innovative first-of-its-kind facility that will serve as an industry-changing model, Walmart Canada has been named the winner of Food Logistics Golden Pallet Award in the large distribution center category. The Golden Pallet Awards, sponsored by Food Logistics, are the first food industry awards to recognize excellence in warehousing.