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Retail Briefs

Duckwall-ALCO Dips into the Red

Retail general merchandiser Duckwall-ALCO Stores posted a net loss of $224,000 for its fiscal year ended Feb. 3, down drastically from net income of $5.7 million for the prior year — even as sales held up well. Sales of $499.0 million were up 6.8% from $467.3 million the year prior; comp sales were up 2.8%. Gross margin was steady at 31.6% of revenues compared to 31.7% in 2006 — but SG&A expenses at the 250-store chain climbed 110 basis points to 29.0% of sales from 27.9% the year prior.

Bon-Ton Promotes Mansker

Department store operator The Bon-Ton Stores has promoted Jimmy Mansker to svp, merchandise planning and internet marketing, reporting to Anthony Buccina, vice chairman, president — merchandising. Mansker joined Bon-Ton in 2007 as vp of e-commerce, from vp of internet commerce at Radio Shack. Buccina called him "instrumental in realizing the company's goal of launching our e-commerce business in 2007."

Home Depot Taps Marketer Bifulco

Home improvement retailer The Home Depot named Frank Bifulco svp and chief marketing officer, reporting to Craig Menear, evp merchandising. Bifulco was most recently chief customer officer and president of Hasbro North America Sales. He had previous stints at Timberland, Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble.

Sears Holdings Adds Shipping Center

The $51 billion retailer Sears Holdings is opening a one-million-square-foot direct delivery center in Gouldsboro, Pa. Located about 60 miles northwest of New York City, the DC is set to help serve more than 300 Sears and Kmart locations in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region. Mainly geared toward the distribution of high-ticket goods, the center is expected to employ more than 150.

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