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Sears realigns home assignments

Hoffman Estates, IL — In a radical change of buying responsibilities and reporting relationships, Sears has placed longtime hard lines executive Lyle Heidemann in charge of all the company's home merchandise in full-line stores.

The move, made last week, "was done to better align our full-line stores with our corporate priorities," explained Mark Cosby, executive vp of Sears and president of the full-line stores. The changes, Cosby added, were undertaken to implement the organizational structure around customers' needs — "selection of the right products and realigning the merchandising functions to maximize efficiencies."

With this change, Heidemann, formerly executive vp, gmm, hard lines, and now executive vp, home and off-mall stores (excluding The Great Indoors and the new test Sears Grand stores), oversees the entire home fashions business as well as the Sears stronghold of appliances and electronics. He adds bed, bath, window coverings, luggage, home accents, cookware/tabletop, rugs, home environment, small kitchen appliances, closet and household appliances.

Barbara Pizzella, who headed the entire home fashions division since July of last year, retains her position as vp, gmm, but is responsible for bedding, bath, window coverings, home accents, rugs and closet. She now reports to Heidemann.

Jim Thorpe, formerly dmm, home electrics, has been named vp, gmm for mattresses, cookware/tableware, personal care, home environment, sewing machines and vacuum cleaners. He also reports to Heidemann.

Leslie Mann, senior vp, who formerly was responsible for home fashions, continues to have responsibilities for footwear, accessories, jewelry and intimate apparel.

This shift in duties is the third since last year when home fashions was split between Pizzella and Mark Grand, formerly vp, gmm for bed, bath, window and mattresses and RTA furniture, who left the company in July 2002.

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