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Home Depot lays off 10 percent of staff at headquarters

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Home Depot has announced layoffs of about 500 employees at its Atlanta-based headquarters — 10 percent of the staff there, according to the company.

The reductions were from departments “across the organization and touching every functional area,” Home Depot spokesperson Ron DeFeo told HCN.

“We’re clearly operating in a tough business environment,” DeFeo said. “We started talking about that in 2007, and we were very honest in saying we expected to see this continuing into 2008 (in recent financial statements). We have a firm commitment in investing in our stores. In order to do that, we need to make some changes.”

The layoffs were only at the company’s headquarters and do not affect distribution centers or stores. The laid-off workers will receive pay for 60 days, the company said.

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Sears set to pay ex-CEO through 2010

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Sears Holdings soon-to-be former CEO Aylwin Lewis will receive $1 million in yearly salary through March 2010, according to company filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In accordance with his initial employment agreement made in 2005, Lewis will also continue to receive health and other benefits and will receive approximately 16,000 restricted shares valued at $88.62 per share and other stock options.

The company announced Jan. 28 that Lewis would be stepping down effective Feb 2.

The company also said new interim CEO Bruce Johnson will receive a pay raise to $900,000 and will gain restricted stock worth $1 million in two installments, one in 2009, the second in 2010.

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Do it Best remodels Web site

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Doitbest.com, Do it Best’s consumer Web site, recently underwent remodeling “to stay in front of changing consumer shopping preferences,” the Fort Wayne, Ind.-based co-op announced.

The new Web site features a more neutral color palette, less “clutter,” more functionality and a concentration on promoting products and services.

“We made the changes to help our member-owned stores meet the needs of their customers,” said Rob Schmelz, Do it Best’s e-commerce manager. Schmelz counted one notable addition as the “Ship-to-Store” feature.

“[It’s] a service we’ve provided for years, and now we’ve made it easier for consumers to find and use it on our Web site,” he said.

Schmelz said Do it Best is already seeing a significant increase in customers using the Ship-to-Store service, which allows them to pick up an online order at their local store, eliminating the shipping fee.

“The customers also benefit from having access to 65,000 items online, giving members the opportunity to expand their product offering,” Schmelz said.

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