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Home Depot shows sales and earnings growth

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Sales increased 4.2% at The Home Depot, the company reported Tuesday morning.

The Atlanta-based company posted $20.2 billion in sales for the period. The company’s net earnings for the quarter were $1.4 billion, compared with net earnings of $1.2 billion in the same period of fiscal 2010. 

Encouraged by the growth, the world’s largest home improvement retailer raised its fiscal 2011 diluted earnings-per-share guidance to an expectation of $2.34 for the year, up 16%.

“Our second-quarter results were driven by a rebound in our seasonal business, storm-related repairs and strength in our core categories,” said Frank Blake, chairman and CEO. “We continue to deliver a strong operating performance, while also investing in customer service and our merchandising initiatives. I would like to thank our associates for their hard work and dedication. It is their efforts that enabled us to deliver these results.”

In the United States, comp-store sales were positive 3.5%, while total comps increased 4.3%.

At the end of the quarter, Home Depot operated a total of 2,245 stores — mostly in the United States, but also in Canada, Mexico and a few in China. 

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Menards ordered to pay former attorney $600,000

BY Brae Canlen

A judge in Eau Claire County Court has awarded Dawn Sands, the former general counsel for Menards’ home improvement chain, $600,000 in lost wages and benefits, according to an article in the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

The wrongful termination case, which started in 2006 and ultimately reached the Wisconsin State Supreme Court, revolved around charges of gender discrimination. Sands, who started working in Menards’ legal department in 1999, claimed that she made less money than her male counterparts. It was her requests for a raise that got her fired in 2006, she said.

Sands and company founder John Menard entered binding arbitration, and one year later, the arbitration panel awarded her $1.77 million, including $900,000 in punitive damages, and ordered Menard to reinstate her at an initial salary of $166,250. 

Menard wrote Sands a check for the entire arbitration award amount but refused to rehire her and appealed the arbitration panel’s decision to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. Although neither Sands nor Menard wanted her back working in the company’s Eau Claire, Wis., offices, the appellate judges decided not to award “front pay” (roughly two years salary)  in lieu of reinstatement. Otherwise, the appeals court upheld the arbitration panel’s findings.

Menard petitioned the state Supreme Court for review. The high court said the arbitration panel exceeded its authority and applied the wrong remedy to Sands’ situation and ordered the case be returned to the initial county judge to determine how much Menard should pay Sands for the future salary she would have received had she not been fired.

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Walmart makes more merchandising changes

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Senior leadership within Walmart’s merchandising organization continues to undergo a transformation, as the retailer’s chief merchandising officer Duncan Mac Naughton on Friday announced another round of personnel moves. 

The most recent changes were precipitated by an announcement the prior week that veteran merchant John Westling was retiring from his position of EVP general merchandise and replenishment. That resulted in the elevation of SVPs John Aden and Pam Kohn to new EVP roles, which in turn triggered additional personnel moves Walmart announced internally on Friday.

Among the key changes, Gary Severson will transition to the role of SVP/GMM hardlines after previously serving as SVP/GMM entertainment. Filling his shoes will be Seong Ohm, who will serve as SVP/GMM entertainment after previously holding the position of SVP home, hardlines and entertainment in Walmart’s Global Merchandising Center. Severson and Ohm will report to Aden.

Filling Ohm’s role is veteran merchant Karen Stuckey who was named SVP home, hardlines and entertainment in the Global Merchandise Center. She will report to EVP softlines Andy Barron

Filling Stuckey’s role is Michelle Gloeckler, who was named SVP/GMM home and will also report to Barron. She previously served as SVP merchandise execution.

Another notable move involved Matt Kistler, who was named SVP merchandise execution after serving briefly as SVP marketing prior to which he was SVP sustainability. 

The previous week, in conjunction with Westling’s retirement announcement, the company named John Aden EVP general merchandise and Pam Kohn EVP Walmart’s merchandise services organization. Aden had previously served as SVP hardlines, and Kohn was SVP global food sourcing.

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