Personnel Updates

99 Cents Only Stores has named Andrew Giancamilli, Chairman of the Board, as interim President and CEO, following the resignation of Stephane Gonthier. The company did not give a reason for Gonthier’s departure. Gonthier had joined 99 Cents Only as President and CEO in September 2013

Apple Inc. announced that Jony Ive has been given the new title of Chief Design Officer, with responsibility Apple’s hardware and software products, as well as, for the chain of Apple Stores and the company’s new campus in Cupertino, California.

Big Lots has named Ronald “Rocky” Robins Jr. as its Senior VP, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. Robins will be a member of the executive leadership team of the company and report directly to David Campisi, CEO and President.

Dollar General has elevated COO Todd Vasos to the role of CEO, filling a position held by Rick Dreiling who is sticking to his original retirement timetable after losing out to Dollar Tree in the bidding for Family Dollar. Dreiling had previously announced plans to retire, but then modified those plans after Dollar General entered the bidding to acquire Family Dollar. Had Dollar General actually acquired Family Dollar, Dreiling planned to remain with the company to oversee the integration. However, Dollar Tree won out which enabled Dollar General and Dreiling to maintain the company’s original succession strategy. Dreiling will remain on the board for the remainder of his term and will serve as senior advisor and Chairman of the Board through January 29, 2016

Dollar General Corporation announced that Jeff Owen has rejoined the company as Exec VP Store Operations. Owen previously spent more than 20 years with Dollar General where his most recent role was senior vice president of store operations.

Dollar General also announced that Gregory Sparks, Exec VP Store Operations, has left the company.

EVINE Live Inc., the digital commerce company formerly known as ShopHQ, announced that Penny Burnett has been named Senior VP & Chief Merchandising Officer.

Restoration Hardware (RH), has hired a Chief Real Estate Officer to lead the latest installment of its evolution into a “design gallery”: a 70,000-square-foot store in Las Vegas.  David Stanchak will be leading the transformation of the company’s current stores into Design Galleries, with responsibility for the company’s real estate and store development efforts.

Tech Data Corporation announced that Exec VP and CFO Jeffery P. (“Jeff”) Howells has notified the company of his intent to retire as CFO effective June 5, 2015. He will also retire from the company’s Board of Directors at the expiration of his current term following the annual meeting of shareholders in June 2015. Howells has served as the company’s CFO since 1992 and as a member of its Board since 1998. Charles V. (“Chuck”) Dannewitz, currently the company’s Senior VP and CFO, the Americas, has been selected by Tech Data’s Board of Directors to succeed Howells as CFO. The two will work together over the coming months to ensure a smooth transition.

Walmart announced that Rob Walton relinquished the position of Chairman of the Board of Directors of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., to his son-in-law, Greg Penner, at the recent company annual meeting


Financial Focus

Hhgregg announced annual financial results for its fiscal year ended March 31, 2015.  Net sales decreased to $2.13 billion from $2.34 billion from the previous year.


Industry Insight

Dollar General has reached another milestone by opening its 12,000th store. Dollar General anticipates opening 730 new stores in 2015 and plans to remodel or relocate an additional 875 stores. The company plans to create more 7,000 new jobs in 2015 and Dollar General’s continued growth has created 30,000 new jobs since 2009.

Dollar Tree has agreed to sell 330 of its stores to the private-equity firm Sycamore Partners in order to get regulatory approval for its $8.5 billion purchase of Family Dollar. Sycamore Partners intends to operate the 330 stores, which represent approximately $45.5 million of operating income for Family Dollar, under the Dollar Express banner.

Dollar Tree said the divestiture enables it to address Federal Trade Commission concerns regarding its acquisition of Family Dollar. The company said it continues to make progress with the FTC, and intends to close the merger with Family Dollar in early July 2015 after securing FTC clearance.

Five Below announced its initial entry into Florida with the opening of nine stores on Friday, June 12th.

Kirkland’s Inc. indicates that the company is still on track to open as many as 40 new stores in 2015 after reporting solid financial results in its latest quarter.  Kirkland’s plans to open 35 to 40 new stores and close 10 to 15 stores in fiscal 2015. New store openings are expected to be weighted toward the second and third quarters of the year, and store closings are expected to be spread evenly throughout the year.


Real Estate

Five Below is accelerating its expansion plans with the opening of three new stores in the Kansas City area.  One of these openings mark the first store opened by the company in the state of Kansas.  The other two openings took place in Missouri.

Walmart has announced that it has decided to acquire 13 locations in Canada from Target.  These are a part of Canada’s decision to abandon its entire operation in Canadian retailing, earlier this year.