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Merriwether to lead retail services for Sears, Kmart

BY Allison Cerra

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Sears Holdings’ SVP procurement and finance has been promoted.

Deidra Cheeks Merriwether now holds the title of SVP and president of retail services, succeeding James Haworth. In this role, Merriwether, who joined the corporation in 2001, will be responsible for the oversight and leadership of retail services for the broadline retailer’s Kmart and Sears stores.

Merriwether currently serves as a member of Sears Canada’s board of directors and is the executive sponsor of the company’s African-American Associate Network.

"Deidra is an accomplished leader," said Bruce Johnson, interim CEO and president of Sears Holdings. "She has a keen understanding of the retail business. Her past experiences within the company, along with a demonstrated success in creating and inspiring high-performance teams that are focused on satisfying the customer make her a perfect fit for this role."

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Gaiam releases new collections of Travel Channel shows on DVD

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — Gaiam’s home video license agreement with the Travel Channel is being extended with the DVD release of "Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern" Collection 4, Part 2 and "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations" Collection 5, Part 2.

"Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern" Collection 4, Part 2 follows the adventures of Zimmern, a man with an "iron stomach," as he tackles the most bizarre delicacies. The three-disc DVD set includes 13 episodes and carries a suggested retail price of $24.98, with a total runtime of 563 minutes.

In "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations" Collection 5, Part 2, Bourdain travels around New York and worldwide to explore the delights of street food. The three-disc DVD set includes 11 episodes and bonus features, and carries a suggested retail price of $24.98, with a total runtime of 485 minutes.

The new releases will be available wherever DVDs are sold.

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Report: Kroger to spruce up Houston market

BY Allison Cerra

HOUSTON — It seems that Kroger is looking to upgrade some of its stores in the Houston area, according to published reports.

The grocer is planning on opening a Marketplace store — a larger-scale model — in Willis, Texas, and will do major overhauls on five stores and minor remodels on six stores, according to the Houston Chronicle. The report also noted that Kroger planned to close two underperforming stores in the area as well.

"We’re continuing to invest in Houston, with a new Marketplace store and upgrades of existing stores," Gary Huddleston, consumer affairs director of Kroger’s southwest division, was quoted as saying.

Kroger is based in Cincinnati and operates under nearly two dozen banners, including its namesake and King Soopers.

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