Personnel Updates:
Big Lots made several merchandising moves to facilitate its planned growth.
The closeout retailer announced it has hired former Sears merchandising executive Doug Wurl to serve as its Exec VP Merchandising. He assumes responsibilities previously held by John Martin who was named Exec VP Administration with responsibility for store operations and human resources.
Family Dollar Stores announced that it has named Brad Rogers to the position of VP Real Estate Development.
HSN announced that Betsy Olum has been appointed general GM Beauty and Merchandising Strategy.
Indigo Books & Music Inc. announced the appointment of veteran retailer and current Indigo Board member Tedford G. Marlow to the position of President.  Indigo also announced the appointment of Kay Brekken, Senior VP, Finance to the position of CFO. Ms. Brekken succeeds outgoing CFO and COO Jim McGill who will remain with Indigo in the COO role until July.   Joel Silver, who has served as President for the last several years, will be appointed to Indigo’s Board of Directors.
Liquidation World Inc. announced that director Craig Graham has agreed to provide additional management expertise by joining the Company as COO.  Chris Rath, the Company’s former Chief Financial Officer will serve in the capacity of Interim Vice President Finance replacing David Becker Interim Chief Financial Officer and further to cost reduction initiatives announced last month Juan Zepeda will be stepping down as Vice President Operations.
OfficeMax announced that former Walmart merchandising and store operations executive Michael Lewis was named Exec VP and President of Retail.
OfficeMax announced that Bob Thacker, Senior VP of Marketing and Advertising has left the company to pursue an opportunity as a strategic advisor to help a firm’s consumer electronics, retail, consumer packaged goods and technology clients.
Pet Supplies “Plus” announced that Dave Bolen will join the company as President.
Financial Focus:
ALCO Stores reported that net sales from continuing operations for the fiscal year decreased 0.6% to $465.2 million.
99 Cents Only Stores reported that total sales for fiscal 2010 were $1.36 billion, compared with $1.35 billion for the prior-year period.  
Hancock Fabrics reported that net sales the year were $275.5 million compared with $274.1 million in the previous year.
Industry Insight:
Best Buy said it plans to double the number of Best Buy Mobile stores by the end of the current fiscal year by opening 150 new freestanding stores to give it a total of 325 units. (Key new total stores, currently have 41BB Mobile)   Conversely, expansion of Best Buy’s large format stores will slow considerably as only six to eight new units are planned for the current fiscal year. That equate to 1% square footage growth, which is well below the 5% rate seen during the past five years.  Keyed for Feb Insight.  Check
325 total for G2 for FYE.
Pep Boys plans to add 50 stores nationally this year.
Green Initiatives:
RadioShack announced that it wa
s giving customers the chance to win the new eco-friendly Nissan Leaf simply by trading in their used electronics devices.
Between April 17 and 23, customers could bring in eligible working products and accessories into any participating RadioShack store and enter to win a Nissan LEAF, the only 100% electric, zero-emissions vehicle available in the mass market. 
RadioShack made it easier to recycle old electronics, and offered an appraisal of value, which could provide credit toward purchasing the latest in technology.  The company stated it was trying to make it convenient and rewarding for customers to trade in their old electronics, rather than putting them into the trash and eventually landfills.
Target announced that it will adopt green refrigeration technologies in its stores as part of its new membership in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) GreenChill program.  By joining the GreenChill program, Target will be able to utilize an industry benchmarking system and obtain greater access to EPA research.