English businessman, former employees convicted on IKEA bribes
A former supplier to Swedish retailer IKEA has been convicted on 18 counts of corruption for admitting he paid 1.4 million pounds (US$2.7 million) for purchasing deals with the retailer, according to BBC News.
Through a group of five companies, Adam Hauxwell-Smith supplied products including potpourri, candles and crackers to IKEA. He was sentenced to three years in prison following a six-year-long corruption probe.
Two IKEA employees also have been sentenced in the corruption probe – IKEA buyer John Brown was sentenced to two years, while sales leader Paul Hoult received a sentence of 13 months. The bribes took place between January 1998 and February 2000, according to a press release from the United Kingdom Serious Fraud Office.
Hauxwell-Smith paid the employees to override IKEA’s “turnover rule,” which said the retailer would not take more than 40 percent of a supplier’s turnover with the aim of keeping suppliers from being too reliant on IKEA’s business.
According to the fraud office, the investigation was initiated by IKEA’s U.K. branch. The investigation began in February 2001.
According to its Web site, IKEA has 17 retail locations in the U.K.
Kmart launches Martha Stewart bed, bath decor line
New York As part of a previously announced rebranding effort for Sears Holdings’ Kmart stores, the retailer introduced a new line of Martha Stewart bed and bath home decor items at a Manhattan store this week
The home goods area of the Astor Place Kmart store was roped off and labeled the “Bluelight District,” playing host to journalists and Sears Holdings representatives.
The day-long event highlighted a new line of higher quality Martha Stewart bed items, furnishings, decor, window treatments and other items.
A“Mr. Blue Light” mascot was on hand, further illustrating Kmart’s retro brand campaign to focus on its classic “Blue Light Special” in-store promotions. Additionally, the company introduced new house label “Abbey Hill” home decor items as part of the event.
Kmart is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sears Holdings, which operates 3,800 full-line and specialty retail stores in the United States and Canada.
Tim-Br Marts names new vp-merchandise
Canadian buying group Tim-Br Marts has named Randy Martin vp–merchandise.
Martin formerly served as director of hardlines and imports for Tim-Br Marts. In his new position, he will lead buying teams in the company’s Calgary, Mississauga and Halifax offices, and he will be overseeing all facets of vendor programs in purchasing.
Martin has worked in the retail lumber, building materials and hardware industry for 30 years, having served in positions at Home Depot and Totem Building Supplies.
Tim-Br Marts represents more than 600 member locations in Canada.