Personnel Updates:

Barnes & Noble named Michael P. Huseby to be its new CEO. He replaces William Lynch, who resigned from the job last summer after questions were raised about the company’s financial disclosures.

Barnes & Noble announced that executive Jamie Iannone (President Digital Products (Nook Media LLC) has left the company and was named President and CEO of

Edible Arrangementshas selected Craig Rubinstein as its new VP of Development, and Ryan Hostetler has been named Franchise Marketing Manager.

Family Dollar announced the resignation of President, COO, Michael Bloom amid deteriorating financial results and a 3% same store sales decline in December.

Family Dollar elevated Jason Reiser to the role of Exec VP and Chief Merchandising Officer and he will report directly to Family Dollar Chairman and CEO Howard Levine.

Gracious Home has named former Lumber Liquidators executive Rob Morrison as its new COO.

Lifetime Brands announced that Bob Varakian and Stephen Spitz were appointed to new roles at the company. Mr. Varakian will serve as Group President of its Cutlery/Cutting Boards and Cookware/Bakeware Divisions. He will report to Lifetime chairman and CEO Jeffrey Siegel. The company also named Stephen Spitz to the role of President for the Cutlery/Cutting Boards Division and he will report to Varakian.

Office Depot has appointed Michael A. Steele as VP of Investor Relations. Steele most recently served as VP of Investor Relations for OfficeMax.

Rich Leland, having led both treasury and investor relations for Office Depot since April 2013, will continue as VP Finance and Treasurer, assuming additional key responsibilities in an expanded role.

Sam’s Club announced that it has named former Barnes & Noble executive Jamie Iannone President and CEO of in a restructuring that elevates and integrates Sam’s Club’s online business into the Walmart’s Global eCommerce business unit based in California. His appointment was announced in a joint statement distributed internally at Walmart by Sam’s Club president and CEO Rosalind Brewer and Walmart Global eCommerce president and CEO Neil Ashe. Sam’s online business was previously overseen as one of many duties by John Boswell in his role as Senior VP of Marketing, Member Insights and eCommerce. Boswell will be leaving Sam’s in May to lead an international mission for his church.

Sam’s Club announced Racquel Harris has been promoted to Senior VP for Member Strategy and Marketing.

Sam’s Club announced that Sonya Gafsi Oblisk, Senior Marketing Director will succeed Harris as VP of Marketing.

Sam’s Club announced the addition of Seong Ohm as Senior VP of Merchandise Business Services.

Walmart has appointed Krish Iyer President and CEO of Walmart India. He will report to Scott Price, President of Walmart Asia.

Iyer replaces Ramnik Narsey, who has served as interim head of Walmart India since June following Raj Jain’s departure. Narsey has been appointed Senior VP of Walmart International, reporting to its newly appointed president and CEO David Cheesewright.

Walmart announced changes to its merchandising organization to begin the new fiscal year with different responsibilities following a restructuring:
•    John Aden was named to the new role as Exec VP of Merchandise Services.

•    Assuming Aden’s previous responsibilities as Exec VP of general merchandise is Steve Bratspies. He assumes responsibility for entertainment, toys, seasonal, sporting goods, automotive, hardware, paint, stationery, crafts and fabric.
•    Laura Phillips was named Senior VP of Entertainment after previously serving as Senior VP of Toys, Seasonal and Celebrations.
•    Moving into Phillips prior position of Senior VP of Toys, Seasonal and Celebrations will be Scott McCall.
•    Rejoining
Sam’s Club in a new capacity as Senior VP of Merchandise Business Services is Seong Ohm.
•    Carmen Bauza was named Senior VP of OTC Health and Wellness. She fills the roll previously occupied by McCall. Bauza had served as VP of Beauty and Personal Care.
•    Moving to
Walmart’s Brazilian subsidiary is Steve Breen. He will become Chief Merchandising Officer of Walmart Brazil.
•    Filling Breen’s roles is Ashley Buchanan who was promoted to Senior VP of Snacks and Beverages from his current role as VP of Meals, Condiments and Specialty.

Walmart’s executive moves :

Scott Neal has been elevated to the role of Senior VP Produce, Meat and Seafood after previously serving as VP of Meat and Seafood. As a result, of the realignment and elevation of Neal, other executives finding themselves in new roles include:
•    DeDe Priest was named Senior VP of Deli, Bakery, Dairy and Frozen.
•    Assuming Priest’s prior dry grocery responsibilities is Matt Kistler who was named Senior VP of Dry Grocery. He had served as Senior VP of Merchandise Execution.
•    Taylor Smith is being promoted to Senior VP of Merchandise Execution to assume Kistler’s former responsibilities from his role as VP of Baby.
•    Responsibility for the baby business now goes to Jane Ewing who was named Senior VP after joining Walmart International last fall.

Walmart also made several changes in sourcing personnel:
•    Michelle Gloeckler was given new responsibility for a sourcing organization that will focus on U.S. sourcing and manufacturing. She will maintain her current responsibilities as Senior VP of Home.
•    Greg Hall who was named VP of U.S. Sourcing and Manufacturing.

Walmart announced additional executive changes:
•    Tony Rogers, Senior VP Marketing for Walmart U.S. has been named Chief Marketing Officer-Walmart China, reporting to Sean Clarke, COO-Walmart China.
•    John Welling, Senior VP Supply Chain Management, Information Systems and Global Business Process for Walmart Japan, will move to Canada, assuming the role of Senior VP of Operations for Walmart Canada.
•    With Welling’s move to Canada, Geoff Sease, VP of Replenishment, Planning and Space for Sam’s Club has been named as Welling’s replacement in Japan as Senior VP for Supply Chain Management.
•    Brett Biggs, will replace Cathy Smith as CFO for Walmart International as she has accepted a leadership position elsewhere. Meanwhile, Treasurer Jeff Davis will take over as CFO for Walmart U.S., a position being vacated by Biggs. who is now serving as Exec VP and CFO for Walmart U.S.
•    Claire Babineaux-Fontenot has been promoted to Treasurer, and will retain the Chief Tax Officer responsibilities while she assumes additional responsibilities for investor relations, capital markets and treasury operations.
•    Lisa Wadlin, VP of International Tax was promoted to VP Global Tax and she will report to Fontenot.
•    Steven Zielske, Chief Audit Executive, will be the new the Senior VP, Finance Capital Markets, reporting to Claire.
•     Lori Flees has joined Walmart as Senior VP of Corporate Strategy.
•    Racquel Harris has been promoted to Senior VP for Member Strategy and Marketing for Sam’s Club.
•    Sonya Gafsi Oblisk, Senior Marketing Director for Sam’s Club, will succeed Harris as VP of Marketing.


Mergers and Acquisitions:

Advance Auto Parts Inc., officially completed its purchase of auto parts retailer General Parts International Inc. The transaction promotes Advance Auto into the No. 1 position as the largest automotive after-market parts provider in North America, bypassing longtime leader, AutoZone Inc.

Bob’s Discount Furniture has been acquired by Bain Capital. Bain acquired a majority ownership position in the Manchester, Conn.-based company and said senior management will continue to own a significant stake. Current CEO Ted English will continue to lead the company whose first order of business for 2014 is entry into the Philadelphia market.

Industry Insight:

99 Cents Only entered the Waco, Texas, market by unveiling a store format considerably smaller than any of its other locations. The new store prototype measures about 13,000 sq. ft. That size is well below the company’s average store size of 21,000 sq. ft. and also below the range of 15,000 to 20,000 sq. ft. the company had previously identified as its sweet spot for new stores.

Fred’s will continue to implement the successful elements of a reconfiguration plan, a key aspect of which involves the addition of pharmacies to its discount stores. The company plans 150 to 200 conversions in 2014 which will leave it with pharmacies in 60% of its store by the end of 2014.