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Lou D’Ambrosio to step down as Sears Holdings CEO

BY Alaric DeArment

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — The CEO of Sears Holdings is stepping down due to unspecified family health reasons, the company said.

Sears, the parent company of Kmart, said Lou D’Ambrosio would step down on Feb. 2, the end of the company’s fiscal year. Edward Lampert will assume the role of CEO and chairman, while D’Ambrosio will remain on the board until the company’s next annual meeting, in May 2013.

"The board greatly appreciates Lou’s strong leadership in accelerating the transformation of Sears Holdings, and we understand and respect his personal decision to step down," Lampert said. "Lou has guided Sears Holdings during a time of rapid industry change to become a more customer- and member-focused company and positioned us to lead in integrated retail. His contributions to our company have been significant, and the entire Sears Holdings family wishes Lou and his family the very best."

"It has been a true privilege to serve the customers, members, shareholders and associates of Sears Holdings," D’Ambrosio said. "This was a very difficult decision, but necessary for family considerations."

In other news, the company reported its quarter-to-date performance for fourth-quarter 2012. The company said comps declined 1.8% due to sales declines in the consumer electronics category; excluding that category, comps declined by 0.2%, including a 2.4% increase in U.S.-based Sears stores and a 2.4% decrease at Kmart, with Sears’ increase driven by apparel and appliance sales, while Kmart saw declines in consumer electronics, pharmacy, grocery, household and drug categories; the pharmacy decline was due to greater dispensing of generics. Meanwhile, Sears and Kmart saw online sales increase by 20%.

The company expects a net-loss for the quarter of between $280 million and $360 million, compared with a $2.4 billion net-loss in fourth quarter 2011.

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Family Dollar Stores offer eco-friendly firelogs

BY Jason Owen

ATLANTA — Select Family Dollar Stores will carry an environmentally friendly, individually-sold 3-lb firelog by Enviro-Log, the company stated.

"Family Dollar customers will appreciate the convenience and performance of our 3-lb firelogs, which burn cleaner and hotter than firewood," said Ross McRoy, president of Enviro-Log. "We are thrilled that Family Dollar customers can now take advantage of these environmentally friendly firelogs, as each Enviro-Log provides warmth and comfort for hours at a time."

Enviro-Log uses 100% recycled waxed cardboard — typically used to transport fruits and vegetables to produce processors, grocery stores and restaurants — to manufacture its earth-friendly firelogs. When compared to firewood, Enviro-Log Firelogs burn cleaner, emitting 30% less greenhouse gases, 80% less carbon dioxide and 86% less creosote, while also providing 50% more heat per pound.

Enviro-Log Firelogs can be stored and burned in all weather conditions and are safe to cook over. Enviro-Log Firelogs also are tested safe for use in chimineas, campfires, outdoor tailgating and cookout events. The ash from Enviro-Log Firelogs can even be used as fertilizer or potting soil.

Enviro-Log is an eco-friendly, consumer products and recycling company known for the greenest, most versatile firelogs on the market.


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Target price matches online retailers

BY Alaric DeArment

MINNEAPOLIS — Target Corp. has launched a campaign to price match online retailers, the mass-merchandise retailer said Tuesday.

The Minneapolis-based retailer said it planned to price match online retailers like Amazon.com, Walmart.com, BestBuy.com and Toysrus.com year-round; Target stores would also price match items on the company’s own website.

Under the policy, if a customer buys a qualifying item at a Target store and then finds the same item for less in the following week’s circular or within seven days on one of the online retailers or a competitors printed ad, Target will match the price.

"Guests can confidently shop at Target every day for the best value in retail," Target president, chairman and CEO Gregg Steinhafel said. "We know that our guests often compare prices online. With our new price-match policy and the additional 5% savings guests receive when they use their REDcard, Target provides an unbeatable value."


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