Personnel Updates:

Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) announced that Lt. Gen. Samuel D. Cox will serve as chairman of the exchange’s board of directors effective immediately.

Cox was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower, Personnel and Services and will replace Lt. Gen. Darrell Jones, who served as chairman of the Exchange board of directors since April 2013 and retired from the Air Force on Nov. 21.

Big Lots has appointed Richard Chene as Exec VP, Chief Merchandising Officer.  Chene will oversee all merchandising and global sourcing strategies and execution, including the development and attraction of talent for the organization.

Big Lots has added three general merchandise managers as the company continues realigning the merchandising organization into three customer-centric categories: food and consumables, furniture and home décor and seasonal, toys and electronics.  Trey Johnson was promoted to Senior VP, GMM for Food and Consumables.  Martha Withers was hired as Senior VP, GMM for Furniture and Home Décor. Lucy Cindric was hired as Senior VP, GMM for Seasonal, Toys and Electronics.

Family Dollar Stores, Inc. announced that Jeffrey W. Macak, Exec VP Supply Chain, has resigned from the Company for personal reasons. The Company intends to conduct a search for Mr. Macak’s replacement.

Hallmark announced that Bryan Williamson has joined the company as VP, GM of Hallmark Omnichannel.

Office Depot’s new Chairman and CEO Roland Smith, of the recently combined Office Depot and OfficeMax companies now called Office Depot, named Stephen Hare as Exec VP, CFO. Hare replaces co-CFO Mike Newman, who has retired from the company after five years.

Office Depot continued activities as the company, which resulted from the merger of Office Depot and OfficeMax, laid groundwork for growth in 2014 by identifying some key leaders.

A little more than one month after Roland Smith was named chairman and CEO of Office Depot and one week after choosing Boca Raton, Fla., as the merged company’s headquarters, Smith announced a slate of senior executive positions that touch every aspect of the company along with several roles that are yet to be filled.

Key positions such as President of North America, Exec VP of Retail, Exec VP of e-commerce and Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, have yet to be filled, but Smith did announce the following moves:

Steve Schmidt will serve as President of International to be based in Europe with responsibility for Europe, Asia, New Zealand, Australia and Mexico. However, plans call for him to be based in Florida until the company fills the role in Europe.

As previously announced, Steve Hare will serve as the company’s CFO.

Michael Allison was named Exec VP and Chief People Officer

Elisa Garcia was named Exec VP and Chief Legal Officer.

Steve Calkins was named Exec VP of Contract Sales.

Ron Lalla will serve as Exec VP of Merchandising.

Tim Rea will serve as Exec VP of Marketing.

Larry Hartley was named Senior VP of Supply Chain.

Rob Koch will serve as Senior VP of Real Estate.

Todd Hales will serve as Senior VP and Global Chief Information Officer.

To make sure the integration of Office Depot and OfficeMax goes smoothly, Deb O’Connor was named Senior VP of Integration.

OfficeMax division of Office Depot announced that Steve Embree, a six year company veteran who was last Exec VP of Merchandising and e-Commerce and previously spent 16 years spent at the recently merged Office Depot, has left the company to accept an opportunity at Snap36, a leading provider of complete 360-degree spin photography services.

RadioShack has appointed former Belk executive Mark A. Boerio to the newly created position of Senior VP, Inventory Planning and Allocation.

RadioShack announced that Huey P. Long, Exec VP of Strategy and Consumer Insights, has chosen to leave RadioShack to pursue other opportunities, according to the company. His responsibilities have been reassigned to other executives in the organization.

Redbox parent Outerwall Inc announced that Redbox President Anne Saunders had left the company after just over a year on the job.  The company, giving no reason for Anne Saunders’ departure, said it expected to fill the position in the coming months.

Shopko has named retail industry veteran Peter McMahon as its new CEO.

Staples has named Tom Conophy as Exec VP, Chief Information Officer, overseeing all aspects of Staples’ global IT organization.

Target Corp. announced that Senior VP of Marketing, Shawn Gensch has resigned and is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities.

Tiffany’s CFO, Patrick F. McGuiness, has resigned his position. The company’s Exec VP and COO, James Fernandez, will assume the position of CFO on an interim basis.

Tiffany announced that VP of Manufacturing, Mike Kane has left the company to join America’s Thrift Stores as its new COO.

Toys “R” Us announced that CEO Antonio Urcelay has replaced Gerald Storch as Chairman.

Industry Insight:

Blockbuster L.L.C., will end its retail and by mail DVD distribution operations by early January 2014. The company will close its approximately 300 remaining U.S.-based retail stores, as well as its distribution centers.

Dollar General announced that a record 700 new stores are slated to open in 2014.

Office Depot, Inc. formed by the merger of Office Depot and OfficeMax, announced that it has chosen Boca Raton, Fla. for its global headquarters. The decision is the result of a thorough evaluation that took into account a number of important factors, including the cost to operate each headquarters location, lease obligations and sublease considerations, tax implications, government incentives, ability to add associates and incorporate functions in the current space, and people-related costs.

The Company will remain in its current 625,000-square-foot corporate campus located in Boca Raton, FL which has ample space to accommodate associates who will relocate from Illinois.

With the location of its headquarters decided, the company will quickly move to build a leadership team and organization by selecting the best talent available from both the Office Depot and OfficeMax former headquarters locations.

Office Depot, Inc. will maintain a presence in Naperville (former OfficeMax headquarters) throughout the headquarters transition and accompanying integration activities.

Office Depot and OfficeMax retail store locations, customer service centers, warehouses and distribution centers are not affected by the selection of the headquarters location.


Green Initiatives/Sustainability:

Meijer announced that it is now operating one of the largest all-clean diesel fleets in North America. As part of its ongoing green initiatives, the retailer’s fleet utilized innovative technology to improve fuel efficiency and reduce its carbon footprint by nearly 60% since it first began implementing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2010 near-zero emissions standards three years ago.

The Meijer fleet was the first in North America to implement the federal clean emissions standards that feature near-zero emissions technology, and today the retailer’s fleet of 170 semi-trucks meets or exceeds those stringent requirements.

As a result of that commitment, the Meijer fleet realized a:

47% reduction in particulate matter;

55% reduction in – or 525 U.S. tons of – nitrogen oxide;

3% reduction in – or 9,300 U.S. tons of – carbon dioxide; and

5% increase in fuel economy, saving 105,570 gallons of fuel each year. In 5 years, that equals a savings of 527,850 gallons of fuel – or 52,785 barrels of oil.

It takes 47 of the new 2010 compliant trucks to equal the same emissions as one of the older trucks they replaced.  The Meijer fleet is comprised of 170 Freightliner Cascadia trucks that are equipped with new fuel efficient, reduced-emissions engines. They feature selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology that treats nitrogen oxides emissions downstream in the exhaust so the engine can be tuned to run more efficiently and economically. SCR technology consists of an after-treatment catalyst system that allows engine exhaust to be treated with a non-hazardous fluid known as diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) that reduces harmful nitrogen oxides into simple nitrogen and water.