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  • INDUSTRY NEWS

    • On July 12, 2018, it was reported, Sears Holdings laid off 200 corporate employees in June, with 150 of those workers at its Hoffman Estates support center, according to reports from CNBC and the Chicago Tribune, which were confirmed for Retail Dive by a Sears spokesman. In a June note to employees emailed to Retail Dive, Sears CEO Eddie Lampert said of the cuts: "As we work to advance our strategic transformation, we all know that we must return the company to profitability in order to retain the confidence of our constituents. This means continuing to look at ways to streamline our operations while staying focused on our Best Members, Best Categories and Best Stores." The company let go 220 employees earlier this year, bringing the total number of corporate layoffs to more than 400 thus far in 2018.
    • On July 11, 2018, it was reported, Nordstrom has some lofty goals over the next five years and some investors don't seem to think they're feasible. Shares of the department store retailer fell on Tuesday morning by as much as 6% after the company issued new guidance that anticipates net sales will grow between 3% and 4% on an average annualized basis from 2017 to 2022. The company also reaffirmed its annual outlook for the year with expectations to rake in net sales of between $15.2 billion and $15.4 billion. The company anticipates comparable sales will increase between 5% and 1.5%. The company also formally announced it will expand the merchandise-free Local concept with two more stores opening this fall in the Los Angeles area. During a presentation for investors, Nordstrom executives laid out a number of initiatives aimed at getting the company to those growth targets. In short, the retailer is focused on three things: making more investments in digital as well as full-price, off-price and new markets; improving profitability and returns to investors; and maintaining disciplined capital allocation.
    • On July 11, 2018, it was reported, Lowe's new CEO Marvin Ellison is shaking up the executive team, eliminating the positions of COO, chief customer officer, corporate administration executive and chief development officer, and shifting those responsibilities to other senior executives reporting directly to him. Changes are effective immediately, but will require a transition period until all roles are permanently filled, according to a company press release. One addition to the team is Chervon North America president and CEO William P. Boltz (who also previously held leadership roles at The Home Depot and Sears) as executive vice president of merchandising, responsible for merchandising, marketing, digital and data analytics and customer insights, effective Aug. 15. Several executives are leaving, including Chief Customer Officer Michael P. McDermott as of Nov. 6; COO Richard D. Maltsbarger, effective immediately; and CFO Marshall A. Croom, effective Oct. 5. New roles have also been created and are yet to be filled, including executive vice president of stores and executive vice president of supply chain.
    • On July 03, 2018, it was reported, The Walking Company emerged from bankruptcy last week some four months after filing for Chapter 11 for the second time in a decade, according to a press release. With 185 stores currently, the retailer leaves bankruptcy with 23 fewer locations than when it filed. In a release on Friday, the company said it has received more than $10 million in new equity, which was called for in a pre-negotiated plan with stakeholders, and "an enhanced financing package" from Wells Fargo. The cash infusion "will provide The Walking Company with sufficient capital to achieve its long-term growth objectives," the retailer said. CEO Andrew Feshbach said in a statement that the reorganization in Chapter 11 "has positioned our company for long-term success," and the retailer could now focus on growth initiatives for its The Walking Company and ABEO brands.