Personnel Updates:
Barnes & Noble said its CFO Joseph Lombardi has resigned and the company is starting a search to replace him. Lombardi will stay on with the company until mid-2012 to assist in the transition as the company undertakes an executive search for a new CFO.  Corporate controller Allen Lindstrom will take over CFO duties until a replacement is named.
Hancock Fabrics has announced that its board of directors has appointed Steven Morgan, the current interim President and CEO and member of the company’s board of directors, to serve as President and CEO.
Harry & David Holdings has named Craig Johnson as its CEO.  Johnson most recently served as Chief Supply Chain Officer of Guitar Center.
Hart Stores Inc. announced the appointment of Mr. Robert Farah as COO of the company.
Target’s President of Online Business, Steve Eastman, has left the company in the wake of last month’s website crash.
Wal-Mart Stores announced that the president of its Chinaunit is stepping down. A company spokesman said the resignation was unrelated to a Chinese government food safety case against several Wal-Mart stores.
Ed Chan, CEO of Wal-Mart China, left for personal reasons, the company said. Scott Price, president of Walmart Asia, will fill the position in the interim.
Clara Wong, the Senior VP for Personnel at Wal-Mart China, also resigned.
Chan oversaw Walmart China‘s expansion from 70 stores and 30,000 employees to 353 stores and workforce of nearly 100,000.
Industry Insight:
99 Cents Only Stores plans eight store openings between November 10, 2011 and February 9, 2012
Books-A-Million which has been taking over the leases of former Borders locations, will transform 41 of the sites into BAM stores in early November. Most the locations, which are across the nation, represent new markets for the bookseller.  In addition to opening the 41 outlets, the company is closing 21 locations.
Hart Stores Inc. began liquidation sales for 32 stores as part of its restructuring under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.  The 32 stores subject to liquidation are Hart, Bargain Giant, and Geant des Aubaines units, including 12 in Quebec, 11 in Newfoundlandand Labrador, five in Ontario, two in New Brunswick and two in Nova Scotia.   The locations impacted by today’s announcement include Hart Stores in: New Liskeard, Port Colborne, Sault St. Marie, Simcoe, and Whitby, ON; Chateauguay, Cowansville, Delson, La Pocatiere, Nicolet, Sherbrooke, Ste.-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, Trois-Rivieres, Valleyfield, Victoriaville and Ville de Quebec, QC; Grand Falls, St. John’s and Miramichi, NB; Clarenville, Corner Brook, Labrador City, and Marystown, NL; and Port Hawkesbury and Windsor, NS. Bargain Giant stores being closed are located in Bay Roberts, Carbonear, Grand Falls, Lewisporte, Port-aux-Basques, and Stephenville, NL. Also being closed is the Geant des Aubaines in Sept-Iles, QC.
Spencer Gifts, a resident of many malls across North America, has leased its first-ever location in Manhattan.  As one of Spencer’s few free-standing locations, the store, located downtown near New York University, encompasses over 1,840 sq. ft. on the ground floor. It is due to open in advance of the holiday season.
Toys“R”Us announced that it has established business operations in Polandand plans to open its first store in the country at the end of November. The first Toys“R”Us store in Poland will open in the country’s capital city of Warsaw just in time for the holiday shopping season, with several additional locations slated to open in major cities throughout the country in 2012.
Walmart has shut down all four of its Marketside stores.
Green Initiatives/Sustainability:
Best Buy is to implement a new energy management system across its 1,105 U.S. retail locations, in a move expected to reduce the company’s energy costs and carbon output by 15 percent within three years.  The new automated energy management system will be implemented in approximately 300 stores by Jan. 31, with full integration with all U.S. stores by mid-2012.
The energy savings initiative comes as Best Buy tries to increase its online sales and scale back its retail space.  Best Buy currently spends about $10,000 per month, per U.S. store, on energy costs. The changes should save the company $71 million over six years.
Best Buy is pilot testing home energy efficiency departments in San Carlos, Calif., Houstonand Chicago, the retailer said Friday. Through these in-store departments, the company hopes to help consumers draw up efficiency road maps and navigate the growing suite of home energy management products and utility incentives. Consumers outside these three test markets can also access the company’s new Online Learning Center at to see virtual product demonstrations and take a self-assessment.
Office Depot’s global headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla., has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star certification. The certification signifies that the building performs in the top 25% of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency and meets strict energy efficiency performance levels set by the EPA.
Commercial buildings that earn EPA’s Energy Star certification use an average of 35% less energy than typical buildings and also release 35%  less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Office Depot improved its energy performance by managing energy strategically across the entire organization and by making cost-effective improvements to its building.
The energy-saving actions that Office Depot took to earn the Energy Star certification included retrofitting most of the lighting on the global headquarters’ campus, which consisted of:
Replacing all T5 lamps with 27-watt, 4100 Kelvin lamps;
Changing all parking garage lights from 150-watt metal-halide to 42-watt fluorescent lamps; and
Reducing the amount of lamps that are on during the daylight hours 70%.
Office Depot announced that three of its stores hold the top spots for retail energy efficiency gains at the midpoint of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star National Building Competition.  Office Depot stores in Plano, Texas, Raleigh, N.C., and Tallahassee, Fla., are the three top contenders, respectively, in the retail category.  The Planostore has experienced a 17% energy reduction at the midpoint in the competition.
Walmart will open its first store in the United Statesthat utilizes all-LED lighting on the interior. The store, a Walmart Neighborhood Market, is located at 2111 N. Amidon, Wichita, Kan. The company said it expects to see a 40% savings on the energy-efficient lights, which also last at least six years beyond conventional lighting, reducing maintenance costs.
Walmart, Coca-Cola, Sysco and Whole Foods are leading the charge of companies deploying fuel cells for stationary power, back-up power and forklifts, according to a study by non-profit group Fuel Cells 2000.  The Business Case for Fuel Cells 2011: Energizing America’s Top Companies says that Walmart now has 6.8 MW of fuel cell power at 17 stores, plus over 70 fuel cell-based forklifts.