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Home Depot beefs up merchandising team

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Making good on a promise to add more talent to its merchandising team, Home Depot has appointed four senior vps to its executive ranks.

Bruce Merino, a 23-year veteran who led the West Coast division for eight years and also served as president of Expo Design Centers, will oversee field merchandising teams, the merchandising service organization, store environment and new concepts.

Gordon Erickson, named CEO of Smith & Hawken in April 2006, will serve as senior vp-decor. Before Smith & Hawken, Erickson worked for Wal-Mart as a senior vp and general merchandise manager in the lawn and garden department.

Rounding out the senior level merchants at Home Depot are Eric Peterson in building materials and Giles Bowman in hardlines. Both Peterson and Bowman have held related executive posts at Home Depot.

In the retailer’s third-quarter earnings call, chief merchandising officer Craig Menear noted that the company was looking forward to strengthening its merchandising team. “During the past quarter, we have invested to add talent within the merchandising team at our senior level,” he said. 

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Newell Rubbermaid names new board member

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Home goods maker Newell Rubbermaid has named Domenico De Sole, former CEO of Gucci Group, to its board of directors.

The appointment raises the total number of board members to 12, the company said.

De Sole also serves as chairman of Tom Ford International.

Previously, De Sole was a partner at Washington, D.C., law firm Patton, Boggs & Blow.

Newell Rubbermaid is a global marketer of consumer and commercial products, with brands including outdoor products manufacturer Bernzomatic, Rubbermaid and kitchen housewares maker Calphalon.

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TOUSA reports third-quarter loss of $619.7 million

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Home builder Technical Olympic USA (TOUSA) reported third-quarter net losses of $619.7 million, wider than the $80 million in losses the company reported last year. Revenue fell 15 percent to $492.9 million from $576.8 million in the same period last year.

The company was hit with $530.6 million in one-time, pre-tax charges related to the abandonment of land option contracts and inventory issues.

TOUSA reported consolidated net sales orders of 892, a 33 percent decrease from last year. The company’s cancellation rate increased to 47 percent, compared to 33 percent for the third quarter of 2006 and 33 percent for the second quarter of 2007.

The New York Stock Exchange has halted trading of the company’s stock, following a drop in stock price to below $1.05. If stocks continue to be low, the company is in danger of being delisted by the NYSE.

Hollywood, Fla.-based TOUSA is a national home builder and financial services company with operations in Florida, the Mid-Atlantic, Texas and the West.

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