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Retail briefs

Sears looks to slim down

Sears' ceo Alan Lacy released an internal memo last week saying that overhead has risen faster than revenues and profits, so the retailer is now looking to trim expenses, which may result in staff cuts at its headquarters. This is part of Lacy's recent strategy to restructure Sears, especially with the full line stores, and more details should be released in October, when earnings come out, said spokesperson Peggy Palter. The trimming will take place over the next few months, she said, and early retirement packages won't be part of the plan, like they have in the past.

Home Depot realigns merchandising organization

Bob Nardelli, president and ceo of Home Depot, has shifted its merchandise buying organization, previously set up in eight divisional offices, to its Atlanta headquarters, in order to simplify orders for vendors as well as better leverage its buying power. The Atlanta Store Support Center will use merchandising vice presidents for each department, supported by global product managers at the category level. In its North American divisions, store merchandising responsibility will move to a vp, merchandising sales and service, supported by a divisional sales merchant with departmental merchandising responsibility. As a result of the change, 120 to 150 would be cut, the company said, though it expects to offer associates alternate job opportunities.

Ames gets $75 million credit

Ames Department Stores announced that it has signed a new financing agreement with Kimco Funding LLC, an affiliate of Kimco Realty Corp., providing for up to $75 million in new funding for general corporate purposes. Under the agreement's terms, Kimco will provide Ames with a secured by first priority leasehold interests on approximately 150 Ames stores as well as second priority security interests in inventory and owned real estate.

Factory 2-U promotes Parks

Factory 2-U Stores, the off-price retail chain, has promoted Tracy Parks to evp and coo, where he will be responsible for the company's ITS, physical distribution, and planning and allocation functions. Reporting to Parks will be David Hensley, evp of stores, and Pat Stiffler, vp of loss prevention. Parks joined the retailer in 1998 as svp, MIS and chief information officer. His role was expanded to include physical distribution as well as planning and allocation, and he was then promoted to evp.

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