Personnel Updates:

99 Cents Only Stores named Christopher Laurence as the company’s interim CFO, Treasurer and Secretary. Laurence replaces Frank Schools, who resigned to pursue other opportunities.

Edible Arrangements International Inc. announced that Robert Price, former Senior VP and Chief Marketing Officer for CVS/pharmacy, has been named President of the company.

Five Below, Inc. announced that Eric Specter has been named Chief Administrative Officer and will oversee supply chain operations, information technology and real estate.

Gordmans Stores announced the resignation of Michael Morand as Exec VP and Chief Merchandising Officer.

HSN, Inc announced that Maria Martinez has been promoted to the role of Chief Human Resources Officer.

Jo-Ann Stores has named Jim Wright as Senior VP Marketing and Advertising, and Megan Featherston as Senior VP of Merchandising.

Mattel has promoted Tim Kilpin to the role of Exec VP, International.  Kilpin will be responsible for advancing the company’s international presence and leading its growth in emerging markets throughout Asia, Europe and Latin America.

PetSmart announced that former Hallmark executive Michael Goodwin was named Senior VP and CIO at the pet specialty retailer.  Goodwin served at essentially the same position at Hallmark.

Shopko has tapped veteran pharmacy executive Michael Cantrell as the company’s new Senior VP of Retail Health.

Staples has named Frank Bifulco to the role of Exec VP of Marketing

Target continues its leadership shakeup both in the U.S. and Canada following now former CEO, Gregg Steinhafel’s ousting and disappointing financials from its new Canadian holdings.  The company announced the sudden departure of Tony Fisher the president of Target Canada.  Fisher has been replaced by Mark Schindele, who was Senior VP, Merchandising Operations.  Schindele will report to Chief Merchandising and Supply Chain Officer Kathee Tesija, whose responsibilities include Target Canada.  Target also announced that it will hire an as-yet unnamed Canadian non-executive chair to help the new president to better understand the Canadian market as it tries to gain a foothold there.  Here the company is seeking to hire a Canadian with a lot of business experience in Canada.

Target announced that for U.S. operations the company is elevating three senior merchandising leaders and realigning the team as the company focuses on driving improved performance. Trish Adams has been promoted to Exec VP, Apparel and Home; Jose Barra has been promoted to Exec VP, Essentials and Hardlines; and Keri Jones has been promoted to Exec VP, Merchandising Planning and Operations.

Target has appointed Peter Glusker as Senior VP New Business Integration and Operations.

Target has hired Kristi Argyilan as Senior VP, Media and Guest Engagement.  Argyilan will be responsible for leading and integrating the company’s paid, earned, owned and shared media initiatives.

Target has appointed Brad Maiorino to the newly created role of Senior VP and Chief Information Security Officer.

Toys “R” Us has appointed Campbell Lennox as Managing Director of the company’s Australia unit. Lennox will report to Monika Merz, President, Toys “R” Us, Asia Pacific.

Tuesday Morning Corporation has named Susan H. Davidson as Senior VP of Marketing. She succeeds Ross Manning, who has left the company to “pursue other professional opportunities”.

Tuesday Morning promoted Phillip D. Hixon, from VP of Store Planning to Senior VP of Store Operations, succeeding Don Mierzwa, who is retiring.

Wal-Mart Chairman Rob Walton announced the appointment of Greg Penner as Vice Chairman.

Walmart’s international division has been assigned new responsibilities including a new role for the former head of Asian operations overseeing mergers and acquisitions.

Walmart named Scott Price to a new role with an incredibly long title of Exec VP, International Strategy and Development, Real Estate, Mergers and Acquisitions, Integration and Purchase Leverage. Price, who joined Walmart in 2009, previously served as President and CEO of Walmart Asia, overseeing the retailer’s operations in China, Japan and India. He will be based in Walmart’s Bentonville headquarters.

To fill Price’s former Walmart Asia CEO position, Greg Foran was elevated from his position as President and CEO of Walmart China. Foran has been with Walmart since 2011. Taking Foran’s old job will be Walmart China COO Sean Clarke who was elevated to the role of president and CEO of Walmart China. Clarke has been with Walmart for 15 year and held a variety of senior leadership roles in the international division.

Walmart announced that Walmart Canada President and CEO Shelley Broader’s responsibilities have been significantly expanded to include oversight of Europe and Africa.  Broader has been named Exec VP, President and CEO of Walmart EMEA, a region Walmart defines as including Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Walmart announced that Joel Anderson, President and CEO of, has left the company to become President at Five Below.

Walmart announced that Fernando Madeira will succeed Joel Anderson as President and CEO of

Wal-Mart Stores chairman Rob Walton announced the appointment of Greg Penner as Vice Chairman.


Financial Focus:

Hhgregg which pre-released its fourth-quarter and annual financial results a little more than a month ago, reported that for the full fiscal year, net sales decreased 5% to $2.34 million, from $2.47 million.


Industry Insight:

Conn’s announced the opening of its first two Conn’s HomePlus stores in Tennessee.

Five Below opened eight locations in and around Houston, TX. This is in line with  the company’s plan to open 60 stores this year to match last year’s 60 new openings.

GameStop Corp. is planning to close up to 130 GameStop stores and add 300 to 400 of its technology branded stores as part of a partnership with AT&T Inc. within fiscal 2014.

The company’s technology brands Spring Mobile, Simply Mac and Cricket Wireless together will almost double their footprint this year.

Hershey’s Chocolate World has opened a retail location at New York-New York Hotel & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.