Lowe’s: ‘Not pleased’ and not standing still

Lowe’s second-quarter financial report was a disappointment to the company’s executives, who made no excuses for the retailer’s poor showing. Earnings were down slightly, revenues grew by only 1.3%, and comp-store sales were essentially flat. “Even after taking into account the challenges of the macro environment, we are still not pleased with our performance this year,” said chairman and CEO Robert Niblock, speaking at an analysts’ conference call on Aug. 15.

Instead, Niblock and his executive team outlined a series of initiatives they intend to implement — or in some cases, accelerate — to address some “gaps” they’ve identified through a critical analysis undertaken earlier in 2011.“We will go to market differently beginning in the second half of this year,” Niblock said.
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(As reported in Home Channel News)

Home Depot’s CEO, 11 Major Companies, And America’s Jobs Crisis

Bernie Marcus, the co-founder of Home Depot (HD), is one of my favorite personalities in the business world. Anytime I’m aware that Marcus is speaking, I try and make myself available to hear what he has to say. I believe he offers good points of view, his opinions are fair, and he is entertaining as well. On Thursday, September 15, Marcus was a guest on CNBC and spoke about an array of topics, which included his foundation, jobs, politics, business, and the market, among others. But what I found most interesting was his view of the proposed jobs plan and the mindset of corporate America after the recession. Read the rest of the article

(As reported by Brian Nichols of SeekingAlpha.com)

Sears Holdings drills into Costco clubs with Craftsman tool offerings, hopes to tap new customers

Sears Holdings Corp. has agreed to sell its Craftsman tool line through Costco clubs nationwide, marking the Hoffman Estates-based retailer’s boldest step yet in distributing exclusive in-house brands outside its namesake stores.

Craftsman hand tools, power tools and tool storage units will start appearing on Costco shelves as early as Saturday, Sears told the Chicago Tribune in an interview Tuesday. The Craftsman tools are slated to roll out to all of Costco Wholesale Corp.‘s roughly 430 U.S. stores this year, with the assortment varying by location.  Read the rest of the article

(As reported in the Chicago Tribune Business section)

Costco’s CEO, co-founder Jim Sinegal to retire

Even when Costco Wholesale co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Jim Sinegal talks about leaving the company he built into the country’s third-largest retailer, he exudes his quirky mix of humble, frank and feisty.

“It’ll be an upgrade,” Sinegal joked about being replaced as CEO on Jan. 1 by President and Chief Operating Officer Craig Jelinek. “He is well-liked and smart and energetic and all the things that I used to be.”

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(As reported in The Seattle Times)