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Reports: Sears Holdings may be open to selling Canadian flagship store

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Sears Holdings’ Canadian division may consider selling off its Toronto flagship store if the right buyer comes along, according to published reports.

In the latest sign of trouble for the retailer, Sears Canada CEO Douglas Campbell told the Globe and Mail, one of Canada’s largest newspapers, that the company was considering closing more stores, including the one at the Toronto Eaton Centre. Sears Canada’s head office also is located at Eaton Centre. The newspaper reported that Campbell’s predecessor, Calvin McDonald, was reluctant to sell the location because of its symbolic importance, but that Seattle-based Nordstrom was interested in buying the location as it prepares to open its first Canadian store next year.

Sears Holdings, based in Chicago, reported a $194 million loss in its second-quarter 2013 earnings, announced in August, compared with a $132 million loss in second quarter 2012. The Canadian division has been especially hard-hit: While same-store sales at Sears’ U.S. stores declined by 0.8%, Sears Canada experienced a 2.5% decline in comps; Kmart’s comps declined by 2.1%. Nevertheless, online business at Sears.com and Kmart.com increased by 20%, the company said.

 

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Jewel-Osco to celebrate reopening of Chicago Ohio & State location

BY Antoinette Alexander

ITASCA, Ill. — Jewel-Osco will celebrate on Wednesday the official grand reopening of its Ohio & State location in Chicago.

The refreshed store will mark the occasion with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the store on Wednesday. Town officials and community members from the River North neighborhood, as well as Jewel-Osco executives and associates, are invited to the event.



“Jewel-Osco is committed to delivering a shopping experience that exceeds the expectations of our local customers,” said Jewel-Osco president William Emmons. “The redesigned Ohio & State location brings a reinvigorated look to our customers, while offering a fresh, new feel to their shopping experience, and it also brought many new jobs to downtown Chicago. We look forward to continuing to provide our neighbors with fresh, quality products and the outstanding service they expect from Jewel-Osco.” 

The revamped store was designed to offer customers a new experience in fresh products and virtually every department received a fresh update in the remodel.  

Equipped with a new self-service salad bar, the produce department is a destination in and of itself, with a variety of changes, including a new juice bar, expanded cut fruit section, freshly made guacamole and new earth-tone flooring. The bakery is now equipped with a new case that offers several types of fruit tarts, truffles, Eli’s cheesecakes, fudge fantasy brownies and a variety of other confectionary items. With an expanded prepared hot and cold food section, the deli is equipped with a carving station and offers Dietz & Watson sandwiches and wraps made daily. The refreshed meat and seafood department includes hand-trimmed as well as natural and antibiotic-free chicken and seafood that can be seasoned and steamed without an additional cost. During the liquor department’s transformation, the craft beer selection was expanded.



To commemorate the occasion and its 11 years of being at Ohio & State, Jewel-Osco will make donations to two local organizations and a grammar school in the community. The company will recognize Catholic Charities by donating $5,000 to support its nutrition programs.



The Metropolitan Family Services also will receive $5,000 to support its community schools programsh. Jewel-Osco also will donate $500 to the Franklin Fine Arts Center.



The Ohio & State location is the first of many re-grand opening ceremonies that will occur in the upcoming months. Jewel-Osco is working on more than 25 remodels in stores across the Chicagoland area.

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Industry vet Gary Rocheleau to expand Park City Group efforts in the retail channel

BY Michael Johnsen

SALT LAKE CITY — Park City Group on Monday announced Gary Rocheleau has joined the company as a senior adviser. A retail industry veteran with more than 40 years of experience, Rocheleau will be responsible for developing business solutions, consulting and expanding efforts in the retail channel. 

"Gary is a highly accomplished senior leader with expertise in marketing execution, merchandising, management and sales for retail grocery. He brings invaluable experience, especially in the retail grocery channel where the out-of-stock challenges are increasing," stated Randall Fields, chairman and CEO of Park City Group.

Recently, Rocheleau served as VP retail marketing execution for Vons/Pavilions, a Safeway Company. His key responsibility was to interface with the centralized marketing group of Safeway Corporate. He previously served as acting SVP corporate pharmacy; was VP sales for California, Hawaii and Nevada; as well as president of Grocery Works, Safeway’s home shopping and delivery company, along with other roles.

"Retailers today have a challenge to continue to appeal to the consumer by making sure they have what the consumer comes to buy," Rocheleau said. "With the visibility Park City Group provides to the shelf, retailers can engage their internal teams to create a process that works for them, resolves out-of-stock problems and increases profitability. I’m very excited to be working with them to provide this opportunity to retailers."

Rocheleau began his career with Lucky Stores, where he spent nearly 23 years and his last position was VP grocery. He began his tenure at Lucky in 1968.

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