David Perry -- Furniture Today, November 13, 2006
Sears Taps ShopKo Merchant Wurl
Doug Wurl has joined Sears as vp, general merchandise manager for home fashions. He is responsible for bed and bath, home décor, housewares, RTA furniture, and mattresses. Janet Taake, who previously held the same position, left the company last spring. Wurl, who had been senior vp, gmm at Green Bay, Wis.-based Shopko, reports to Don Laughlin, senior vp, merchandising, of Sears Holdings.
Top Merchant Leaves Sears Canada
Frank Rocchetti has resigned as senior vp and chief merchant from Sears Canada, deciding "to pursue other opportunities" after 27 years with the retailer, the company said, noting a search is underway for a replacement. Sears Canada, with 435 stores and showrooms plus a network of home improvement services, is the target of a continuing share acquisition campaign by the management of U.S.-based Sears Holdings.
Family Dollar in Backdating Probe
Family Dollar said it would delay the filing of its annual report on Form 10-K due to an unfinished internal audit by a special committee probing the company's stock option practices. The 6,200-store discount retailer launched the probe in reaction to being "a nominal defendant in a lawsuit…alleging that certain of the company's stock option grants were 'backdated.'"
Kohl's Casa Cristina in Holiday Debut
Casa Cristina — a Kohl's exclusive in bedding and soft bath — will debut in at least 200 stores and online by December. Hispanic TV talk show host Cristina Saralegui's home furnishings launched in 2004, and now include furniture, home accessories, lighting, mattresses, bed and bath accessories and kitchen textiles. The Kohl's line will roll out to all 817 stores by spring 2007, the retailer said. Products are set to include "bedding, bath and table linens, ultimately expanding into decorative pillows, rugs and decorations across several home categories."
Amazon, Nordstrom: Service Leaders
In a customer service satisfaction survey commissioned by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and American Express, Amazon.com ranked as the nation's top company for customer service, followed by Nordstrom (last year's No. 1), L.L.Bean, Overstock.com, and Lane Bryant. Retailers rounding out the top 10 included Boscov's, Kohl's, REI, Lands' End, and Macy's in the survey conducted by BIGresearch.
Consumers say they expect the most service from restaurants, which had a 4.46 rating out of 5.0. Specialty stores (4.40) and department stores (4.12) were next. Service expectations have risen the most with warehouse clubs (a 3.86 rating this year compared to a 3.58 rating in 2005, a 7.95% increase), discount stores (3.40 vs. 3.21, a 5.88% increase) and online (3.92 vs. 3.71, a 5.75% increase).
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