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Moore wants to 'add value' in new role

Shortly after being named president and chief operating officer of Linens 'n Things last week, Jack Moore told HTT he'll visit the retailer's headquarters here for a couple of days this week in order to get to know the team.

Moore's first order of business will be to spend some time learning more about LNT's business and the people there, "and then hopefully 'add some value' to what they're already doing."

He joins the $2.4 billion retailer after seven years at Kohl's, where he was most recently executive vice president/general merchandise manager of home, children's and family footwear. His tenure there also included responsibility for planning, allocation and marketing functions.

"It was a very difficult decision to leave Kohl's, and I have a tremendous regard for Kevin (Mansell, Kohl's president) and all the people there," Moore said. But, he added, "This is an important opportunity to lead a company and hopefully take it to an even higher level."

Moore also spent 19 years at Dayton-Hudson Department Stores (now part of Target Corp.'s Marshall Field's division). In addition to merchandising roles, he also spearheaded the redesign of Dayton-Hudson's supply-chain-management process.

He will report to Norman Axelrod, chairman and CEO.

Axelrod characterized Moore's hiring as another step forward in LNT's aggressive growth plans, adding that the hire "positions us to better seize the many opportunities in front of us."

Merrill Lynch Equity Analyst Danielle Fox applauded the move, noting in a newsletter to investors that Moore's hire not only provides a potential successor to Axelrod, but also adds merchandising expertise to a company whose equity is based on sales productivity improvements.

"Our analysis shows that every dollar increase in sales per foot raises operating margins by about 20 basis points at Linens," she wrote. "We think Linens recognizes this opportunity and has put in place a reasonable strategy to tap it," she said, pointing specifically to programs to upgrade assortments, boost in-stocks and give store managers more control over inventory.

Linens 'n Things will restructure some of its reporting relationships now that Moore has joined the company. Reporting directly to Moore will be: Audrey Schlaepfer, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer; Tony Donofrio, senior vice president and chief supply chain officer; and Tim White, senior vice president, marketing.

Executives who will continue reporting directly to Axelrod include: Bill Giles, executive vice president and chief financial officer; Dave Coder, senior vice president, store operations; Brian Silva, senior vice president, human resources, administration and corporate secretary; Jeff Steinhorn, senior vice president, chief information officer; and Brian Tilzer, divisional vice president, strategy.

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