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Sears centralizes merchandise ops

HOFFMAN ESTATES , Ill. – Sears Holdings has placed two key executives in charge of merchandising over the Sears, Roebuck and Kmart organizations, effective immediately. Both report to Edward Lampert, chairman.

Dan Laughlin becomes senior vice president, merchandising. He will oversee hardlines businesses at both Sears and Kmart stores, and merchandising at Sears. He was previously senior vice president and general merchandise manager, Home, for the Sears chain.

Peter Whitsett will now lead general merchandising businesses at Kmart and Sears, but will continue to oversee merchandising for Kmart. His title is senior vice president and Kmart merchandising officer.

Roger Detter, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of hardlines for Sears stores, will retire at the end of the month. The company confirmed that Gwen Manto, executive vice president and general merchandise manager, softlines, has left the company.

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