Personnel Updates:

Advance Auto Parts has appointed David Allen as Senior VP Supply Chain Management.

Best Buy exec Kirk Geadelmann has left the company as the Tile Shop has elected Mr. Geadelmann as its new CFO.

Build-A-Bear Workshop has appointed Jennifer Kretchmar as Chief Product Officer and Innovation Bear. She will report to CEO Sharon John.  Kretchmar will lead the company’s merchandising and product development teams and be responsible for product development, design, quality, sourcing, merchandising, planning and wholesale.

Five Below, Inc. announced that Joel Anderson has been named President.  He comes to the company from his post as President and CEO of In his new role, he will lead all aspects of merchandising, stores and marketing.

Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores’ President and CEO, Travis Smith, has stepped down and left the company.  The board of directors is undertaking a comprehensive search to find his replacement. Until then, Jim Kerr, the company’s Exec VP and CFO, will serve as interim CEO of the company, while continuing in his current role.  Kerr will partner with Riddi Kline, Exec VP of Marketing and Merchandising, and Tom Williams, Exec VP of Operations and Human Resources, to manage the business.

Kmart parent Sears Holdings has appointed former Tesco executive Alasdair James as President and Chief Member Officer.

Staples has appointed Thomas Nowak as Senior VP of Merchandising, Staples Europe.

Target announced that retail and consumer products veteran Brian Cornell has been named the company’s new Chairman and CEO.  Cornell becomes the first CEO to be hired from outside the company.

Toys“R”Us has appointed Chetan Bhandari as the company’s Senior VP, Corporate Finance and Treasurer. He will report to Exec VP and CFO Mike Short.

Walmart announced that Greg Foran has been promoted to President and CEO of Walmart U.S. Foran succeeds Bill Simon who has been in the role since June 2010 and will be transitioning out of the company.

Williams-Sonoma made several organizational changes to its management team, as part of its continued growth strategy:

Chief Marketing Officer Pat Connolly has been elevated to Chief Strategy and Business Development Officer. Connolly will work closely with senior management to refine the company’s long-term strategy, including the development of new businesses, and the evaluation and execution of acquisitions and alliances that can provide significant growth.

Chief Information Officer John Strain has been promoted to the position of Chief Digital and Technology Officer. Strain will assume additional responsibility for the company’s digital and direct marketing efforts.

Felix Carbullido has been promoted to the position of Chief Marketing Officer, succeeding Connolly and reporting to Strain. Dean Miller has been promoted to the position of COO.

Yankee Candle has named Hope Margala as President and CEO, replacing Harlen M. Kent who had been at the helm since 2009.

Mergers and Acquisitions:

Dollar Tree said it would acquire Family Dollar in a transformational cash and stock deal valued at $8.5 billion to create a company with more than 13,000 stores and annual sales of $18 billion.

The deal was unanimously approved by the boards of both companies and involves Dollar Tree paying Family Dollar shareholders $59.60 in cash and $14.90 in equivalent Dollar Tree shares.

Approval is pending from federal agencies and shareholders. The deal will not be finalized until at least early 2015.

Industry Insight:

Office Depot is moving up the pace of 400 store closings to drive greater than expected operating profit growth and expense savings related to the merger with OfficeMax.

Office Depot merged with OfficeMax last November and shortly thereafter announced plans to close 400 stores by the end of 2016. The total number of closings remains intact, but the company now expects to close 165 of the stores this year compared to an earlier forecast of 150 closings in 2014.

O’Reilly Automotive said it is on track to open 200 new stores this year after posting its 22nd consecutive quarter of profit growth in excess of 15%.

Target opened its experimental Express format on July 23 in a community near downtown Minneapolis designed to give the retailer an early indication of expansion potential for the 20,000-sq.-ft. concept.

Green News:

Staples Advantage, the business to business division of Staples, has launched a Technology Recycling Service, so businesses can recycle old electronics.

The program, offered in partnership with Electronic Recyclers International (ERI) allows businesses of all sizes to recycle large volumes of electronics conveniently, responsibly and in a secure manner, the company said.

Staples Advantage’s new program allows businesses to recycle equipment — from cell phones and keyboards to telecom equipment and multi-function devices — by complete the following three steps:
1. Order recycling boxes online at
2. Fill boxes with electronics and ship back to Staples using a provided return label.
3. Receive a Certificate of Recycling from Staples that their electronics have been properly recycled and data safely removed. The certificate is accredited by the e-Stewards Initiative, a project of the Basel Action Network, which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the responsible recycling of e-waste.

Staples Advantage will also integrate this offering into its future Managed Print Services contracts, providing a seamless way for companies to recycle devices no longer needed after a consolidation effort.

The cost for the service will range from $15 to $500 depending on the size of the box ordered, with options ranging from a 9” x 5” x 3” box to full pallets. Customized sizes are also available.