Personnel Updates:
99 Cents Only Stores announced that CFO Rob Kautz has resigned.  The company has appointed Frank Schoolsas Interim CFO.
Anna’s Linens has set itself for further expansion with new hires and promotions in its buyer department. The company has recently named Jennifer Knapp, senior buyer of window coverings, and has promoted Maggie Negrete to fashion bedding buyer.
Knapp joins Anna’s Linens following over seven years of buying experience at Shopko Stores.
Canadian Tire Corp. has announced the appointment of Marco Marrone as its new COO of the company’s core retail business. Marrone will have oversight of all of CTR’s operations, including merchandising, marketing, supply chain, and store operations, including dealer relations.  Mike Arnett has been appointed Exec VP, Corporate Development.  Dean McCann has been appointed as the company’s CFO and Exec VP Finance replacing Marco Marrone.  Mary Turner takes on the roles of COO of Canadian Tire Financial Services and President of Canadian Tire Bank, replacing Dean McCann.  Harry Taylor has been appointed COO at Mark’s stores division.
Newegg Inc., has promoted Bob Bellack, the current President and CFO of Newegg North America, to CEO of Newegg North America. Dr. S.C. Lee has assumed the role of Vice Chairman of Newegg North America.
RadioShack Corp. has named William “Bill” Nebes III as Senior VP, overseeing the company’s operations in Mexico.
Staples, Inc. announced the appointment of Mike Edwards to Exec VP Merchandising.
Toys“R”Us has promoted two executives in its U.S.merchandising division. Richard Barry has been named Senior VP, Chief Merchandising Officer for Toys”R”Us, U.S., and Lisa Harnisch has been appointed Senior VP GMM Toys, overseeing the merchandising function for the core toy, seasonal and learning product categories.
Walmart’s Greg Foran, Senior Walmart International has been named CEO of Walmart China.
Financial Focus:
Advance Auto Parts achieved record sales, profits and store expansion last year. Annual sales climbed to $6.17 billion from $5.93 billon for the previous fiscal year.
Big Lots annual revenue rose 5% to $5.2 billion, from $4.95 billion for the previous year.
Dollar Tree reported that net sales for the full year were $6.63 billion, a 12.7% increase compared with 2010 sales of $5.88 billion.
HSN reported that annual net sales grew 6% over the prior year to $3.2 billion.
Kmart announced that annual sales had declined to $15.285 billion for the fiscal year ending January 28, 2012.
QVC’s consolidated revenue increased 6% to $8.3 billion for the year.
Office Depot ended the year with total sales of $11.5 billion, a 1% decrease from the prior year.
OfficeMax announced the results for its full year ended December 31, 2011.  Total sales for the full year 2011 decreased 0.4% to $7,121.2 million compared to the full year 2010.
O’Reilly Automotive, Inc., announced record revenues and earnings for its year ended December 31, 2011.  Sales for the year ended December 31, 2011, increased $391 million, or 7%, to $5.79 billion from $5.40 billion for the same period one year ago.
PetSmart total sales for the year were $6.1 billion, up 7%.
Staples announced that for the full year 2011, total company sales increased 2% to $25 billion compared to the full year 2010.
Mergers and Acquisitions:
Shopko Stores and Pamida have completed their merger that will create a $3 billion company that serves largely rural communities in 22 states.

The combined entity will retain the Shopko name. The consolidated Shopko will be headquartered in Green Bay and Pamida’s corporate headquarters in Omaha, Neb., will be consolidated into the Green Bay office over the next several months.

The company said that Shopko chief Paul Jones will lead the entire company as President, Chairman and CEO. Pamida CEO John Harlow will serve on the leadership team and help direct the integration process.

A store conversion plan calls for all Pamida stores to be converted to the Shopko Hometown store format by the end of 2012. Six Pamida stores will not go through conversion and will be closed in August.

The Shopko Hometown retail format, developed over the past three years to augment Shopko’s larger store model, offers a merchandising strategy that combines pharmacy services with a broad offering of national brands and private label brands of apparel, home furnishings, toys, consumer electronics, seasonal items, and lawn and garden products. Size ranges from 15,000 sq. ft. to 35,000 sq. ft.


Shopko announced approximately $80 million will be invested into Pamida store conversions which will begin in June and occur in phases through the end of the year. Each individual store conversion will take approximately five-six weeks from start to finish and will include new interior and exterior signage, updated supplemented fixtures, improved store design and layout, as well as an expanded merchandise mix.


Once Pamida’s chain-wide conversions are complete, the company plans to accelerate the addition of new Shopko Hometown stores in the second half of 2012 and into 2013. There will be no change to Shopko’s current 149 stores.
Industry Insight:
Advance Auto Parts plans to open 120-140 locations during fiscal 2012.
Big Lots plans to open ninety new stores and close forty five during the 2012 fiscal year.
Blockbuster will close 500 underperforming and unprofitable video stores in the coming weeks.  The closures will occur in the first quarter of this year.
Build-A-Bear will also close 15 to 20 stores in North America to right size its portfolio, with most of the locations in markets where the company already has other stores.
The company also plans to relocate 15 stores to reduce square footage and to open four to six new stores in North America.  On the international front, the company plans to add 10 to 12 more franchised stores this year, net of store closings.
Gordman’s will open its first two stores in Utah late March and expects to open a third in July as part of the company’s push to expand beyond the Midwest and Plains states.
Hastings Entertainment closed a store in Missouri.
Nebraska Book Company got closer to emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy with the filing of a Second Amended Plan for Reorganization and Disclosure Statement. A hearing to approve the Disclosure Statement will be held on April 13 at U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.  At the same time Nebraskafiled a motion to close 38 off-campus stores, following the seven it closed recently.
OfficeMax is reducing its retail store count in the upcoming year.  For the next fiscal year, the company said it plans a net reduction in retail store count with up to 35 store closures and one to two store openings in the United States, as well as eight to nine store openings and one to two store closures in Mexico.
Vann’s closed its electronics store in Helena after 25 years, due to what Chief Operating Officer, Rob Standley says is a slumping retail climate.