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Retail briefs

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia denies ceo search

In an effort to squelch published reports that the company had begun a search for a new ceo, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia last week "categorically denied" that Martha Stewart was on her way out as company ceo. The company's stock has plummeted following an alleged insider trading scandal that has surfaced involving Stewart.

The Home Depot consolidates divisions

Looking to better serve its stores in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States and the Caribbean, The Home Depot plans to create a new Eastern division by integrating two of its nine current divisional offices. The company will combine its Mid-Atlantic division, currently based in South Plainfield, NJ, and its Southeast Division, based in Atlanta to become one operating division. The Eastern Division, which will service more than 450 locations with more than 90,000 employees, will be headquartered in Atlanta. The company plans to maintain a facility in New Jersey.

In other company news, the retailer is facing a lawsuit from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that accuses it of repeatedly rejecting a woman for jobs that it hired less-qualified men to fill. The company's Rialto, CA, store, which is located about 40 miles east of Los Angeles, is at the center of the suit.

Michaels to bring families together

In anticipation of the holidays, Michaels Stores Inc. will host a Free Family Event at each of its 742 stores. The family-oriented activity, sponsored by DecoArt and taking place on Sept. 28, will enable everyone in the family to make one of five colorful wooden pins using DecoArt paint. Participants can choose a holiday pin that celebrates Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Winter, Kwanzaa or Hanukkah. The event is part of the Hobby Industry Association's national campaign to promote arts.

Delia's comes up short in second quarter

In line with its expectations for the second quarter, Delia's Corp. posted a loss of $7.0 million, or a loss of $0.15 a share, compared with a loss of $11.0 million, or $0.23 a share, in the year-ago period. Net sales for the retailer, which targets teenage girls and young women, rose slightly to $26.2 million from $26.0 million last year. Retail sales increased 32 percent, driven by new store openings, while catalog sales fell 22 percent on a reduction in circulation, the company said.

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