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Retail briefs

ShopKo names Ramsey president and coo

ShopKo Stores has appointed Gary Ramsey as president, coo of its ShopKo division, effective immediately.

Reporting to Bill Podany, chairman, president and ceo, Ramsey will have overall responsibility for merchandising, marketing, store operations, planning, replenishment, analysis, distribution and transportation. Ramsey will also serve on ShopKo's operating, executive and president's review committees, the latter overseeing governance and strategy for the corporation.

With 35 years retail experience, Ramsey was most recently at Garden Ridge, as executive vp.

Sears, Kmart name new cfos

Sears, Roebuck and Co. has hired Paul Liska as its new executive vp and cfo. Liska, who had held the same title at The St. Paul Companies insurance firm, will oversee Sears' IT activities as well as its financial activities. He reports to chairman and ceo Alan Lacy.

Liska replaces Jeffrey Boyer, who last week was named Kmart's new executive vp and cfo. Boyers replaces Martin Welch, who after six years in the position took an early retirement. Boyer will report to Kmart chairman and ceo Chuck Conaway.

The Home Depot crosses Mexican border

The Home Depot announced that it has signed an agreement to purchase Total HOME, a four-store chain of home improvement stores in Mexico, from ALFA, S.A. de C.V., a conglomerate based in Monterrey, Mexico. Slated for completion the first half of June, the acquisition will increase Home Depot's international presence to four countries, the other three being Canada, Chile, and Argentina. Mexico's second largest home center retailer, Total HOME has four locations — three in Monterrey and one in Mexico City — with each one stocking 30,000 skus across 17 departments. Total HOME will operate the same name until after the transition and the training of the Total HOME associates, when it will then be rebranded as The Home Depot.

Elder-Beerman opens another concept store

Elder-Beerman will open a 55,500-square-foot department store this October in Alliance, OH. This will be the retailer's ninth concept store and its 29th store in Ohio. The concept stores strive to enhance customer shopping through layout and fixturing changes and feature centralized customer service centers.

Pier 1 lowers forecast

Prompted by slackening consumer confidence, higher energy costs and lay-offs, Pier 1 warned that its earnings for the first quarter ending June 2 will be lower than previously expected. In its revised forecast, the company said earnings per share will probably range between 12 cents and 16 cents vs. the 18 cents average estimate previously issued by Thomason Financial/First Call. The company added that it sees the size of average transactions dropping as consumers gravitate toward more promotional and lower-priced goods.

Mervyn's picks up the taxes in shopping promo

Mervyn's this week is giving consumers a "tax holiday," picking up the sales taxes on all purchases made in its 266 stores from May 6 to May 12. In Minnesota and Oregon, which have no state sales taxes, consumers will receive 10 percent off on all purchases. Mervyn's participated in a state-sponsored tax holidays, and its California stores hosted a similar event during back-to-school 2000. This, however, is its first such company-wide promotion.

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