Personnel Updates

• Big Lots Stores Inc. (106) has named Jonathan Ramsden as Exec VP, CFO and Chief Administrative Officer. He will succeed Timothy A. Johnson.

• Hallmark Cards, Inc. (118) announced Mike Perry has been appointed President and CEO.

• Kirkland’s Inc. (36) has named Nicole Strain as Exec VP and CFO.

• Party City Holdco Inc. (45) announced that Brad Weston has been appointed as CEO.

• Target Corporation (300) has hired Hari Govind as Senior VP of Infrastructure and Operations.

• Walmart Stores Inc. (219) announced Steve Schmitt will become the new U.S. E-commerce CFO. Ashley Buchanan will move from the Exec VP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Sam’s Club to be the Chief Merchandising Officer for U.S. E-commerce.

• Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (244) announced that Janet Hayes, President of the Williams-Sonoma brand, is resigning effective August 1. She will be succeeded by Ryan Ross.


Mergers and Acquisitions

• Rent-A-Center Inc. has announced plans to acquire fellow lease-purchasing franchise Merchants Preferred. The deal is expected to close during the third quarter of 2019.


Industry Insight

• Inc. is partnering with Rite Aid to launch “Counter,” dedicated counters in Rite Aid stores where Amazon customers can pick up their purchases. The service, which is free to all Amazon customers, is now available in more than 100 Rite Aid stores, and will be rolled out across 1,500 locations by the end of the year.

• Sam’s Club has added alcohol, including wine, beer and spirits, to the lineup of groceries and other essentials that members can buy when ordering through Instacart.

• Target Corporation announced it is committing to source 100% of all its electricity from renewable sources by the year 2030.

• Tru Kids Brands, Inc. is opening two stores this holiday season in Houston, TX, and Paramus, NJ.

• Walmart Stores Inc. recently opened its largest self-standing grocery pickup and delivery center in the United States, in Lincolnwood, IL.


Real Estate

• Dollar General Corp. announced it plans to open 10 DGX locations in fiscal year 2019. The smaller format measures half the size of a traditional location.

• Fred’s Inc. said it will close another 129 stores and hold inventory clearance sales. Fred’s will have an estimated 80 retail stores and 166 pharmacies following its store closures.