Personnel Updates:
Advance Auto Parts announced that Jim Durkin will join Autopart International as President.  Prior to joining Autopart International, Durkin served as the Exec VP Global Sales for OfficeMax, where he led the Global Business Segment.
Apple has announced that Senior VP Retail Operations has left the company.  Johnson moved to JCPenney to become its CEO.
Borders Group Exec VP and Chief Merchandising Officer, Michele Cloutier has resigned.
Indigo Books & Music Inc. announced that CFO and COO Jim McGill has retired. 
Liquidation World Inc. announced the resignation of Seth Marks, the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer and a director of the company, from all positions held by him with the company and its subsidiaries.
Tiffany & Co. announced that Patrick McGuiness has been appointed Senior VP and CFO and that James Fernandez has been appointed to the newly-created role of COO. 
ValueVision Media, a premium interactive retailer via TV, Internet, mobile and social media, operating under the “ShopNBC” brand, announced that Nathan Martin has been appointed VP Fulfillment.
United Stationers, a leading distributor of office and business products, has hired Fareed Khan as its Senior VP and CFO.  Khan succeeds Victoria Reich, who announced her planned departure from the company in November 2010 and has remained in her role to support a smooth transition.
Walmart announced that Karen Roberts was named Exec VP and President of Walmart Realty, filling a position vacated by the company’s long time real estate executive Eric Zorn who retired after a 20-year career.  Roberts most recently served as Senior VP and Chief Compliance Officer.  Filling Robert’s role in the compliance area is Phyllis Harris. She was named Senior VP and Chief Compliance Officer.
Walmart announced the appointment of Sean Clarke as COO of Walmart China and the appointment of Steve Smith as Chief Marketing Officer. Clarke previously served as head of finance in Canada.
The top operations role opened up a few months ago after the former COO Rob Cissell and former CFO Roland Lawrence resigned. Shortly thereafter, Shawn Gray, a long-time operations VP, resigned to assume a new role at India’s Reliance Retail where Cissell had been named CEO. Walmart China filled the hole created by Lawrence’s departure by transferring Mario-Jose Medina from his CFO role in Chile to become the top bean counter in China.
Financial Focus:
Barnes & Noble reported record sales of $7 billion for fiscal 2011.
Industry Insight:
BJ’s Wholesale Club has entered a definitive agreement to be acquired by Leonard Green & Partners and CVC Capital Partners for an all-cash transaction valued at about $2.8 billion after months of speculation.  BJ’s board of directors unanimously approved the merger agreement — which is subject to approval of BJ’s shareholders, customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals — and recommends that all BJ’s shareholders vote in favor of the transaction.
The transaction is expected to close during fourth quarter 2011.
Real Estate:
Apple expects to open 40 to 50 new stores, over half of which are expected to be located outside of the U.S. during 2011. 
Best Buy plans to reduce its store size by subleasing store space to smaller retailers, according to The Los Angeles Times. The chain’s new stores will be in the 36,000-sq.-ft. range, down from its current 45,000-sq.-ft. model.  The company sees this as an opportunity to capture cost savings and get themselves ‘right size.’”   According to a report, the new stores that move into the Best Buy space will require their own restrooms, electrical systems and air-conditioning in addition to floor-to-ceiling walls separating the businesses.
Staples has revealed plans to shrink its overall store footprint and grow its break rooms as a means to lower costs and increase sales productivity.  New stores will be about 15,500 sq. ft. to 16,000 sq. ft., down from the current prototype of 18,000 sq. ft. and the 2000 prototype of 24,000 sq. ft.
While Staples has been closing struggling stores, they don’t believe mass closures are on the horizon.  Staples managers said they can recoup 50% or more of sales lost when a store closes because customers will instead buy online or go to another Staples store nearby.
Target announced that Target Canada has reached an agreement to transfer to Walmart Canada the leasehold interests in up to 39 sites, currently operated by Zellers.
Specific locations will be identified later this fall. Terms of this transaction were not disclosed.
The sites are among the up to 220 possible sites whose leasehold interests Target is acquiring as part of a real estate transaction announced in January. In May, Target selected its initial group of 105 sites, the vast majority of which will become Target stores.
Target plans to announce the selection of a second group of sites this fall and expects to open 100 to 150 Target stores throughout Canada beginning in 2013.
Walmart expects to open about 100 Walmart Market stores next year and expects to be operating about 300 by 2013.  Originally branded as Neighborhood Market stores, these have been re-branded as Walmart Market.