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Kmart offers lease-to-own financing for the holidays

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Kmart is rolling out a lease-to-own financing program for stores across the country this holiday season, expanding access to merchandise valued at $150 and over for customers and Shop Your Way members.

The program, which allows customers to take home higher-priced items with no credit requirement, was initiated in various test markets beginning Oct. 15 and will be available in all stores by Nov. 22.

"Kmart’s lease-to-own program will help ease some of the financial barriers our members and customers will face this holiday season," said Jai Holtz, VP financial services, Sears Holdings. "For members and customers who have an immediate need, lease-to-own gives a full house assortment of products and a way to pay."

The program encompasses more than 600,000 products across the various segments of the Kmart business. The financing option will be extended to all customers aged 18 and over who earn a minimum of $1,000 a month and can provide a social security or tax identification number.

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KB Home announces a 70% larger footprint in Jacksonville

BY HBSDEALER Staff

With the purchase of two new communities in the region, KB Home has managed to increase its presence in northeast Florida by over 70% in 2013, having accumulated more than 900 lots since 2012.

“It’s been an exciting year for KB Home in Jacksonville, where the region’s dynamic economy offers plenty of potential for long-term growth," said Todd Holder, president of KB Home’s Jacksonville division. "In 2013, we strategically pursued opportunities to expand our business and uniquely positioned KB Home to meet rising homebuyer demand for new homes. With the positive momentum we’ve established in Jacksonville this year, we’re looking forward to delivering the American dream of homeownership to many more Floridians well into 2014 and beyond."

The homebuilder announced on Tues. the purchase of Angora Bay in Orange Park and Whitmore Oaks in Mandarin. The latter is slated for a grand opening in November, with single-family homes between 2,003 and 3,555 sq. ft. starting in the mid $200,000s. The former will include 98 single-family homes between 1,865 and 3,181 sq. ft. beginning in the high $100,000s.

KB Home first entered the Jacksonville market over a decade ago. At the moment, there are 10 KB Home communities open for new home sales in the area.

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Kubota Tractor names Yoshikawa president

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Kubota Corp. has appointed Masato Yoshikawa as the new president of Kubota Tractor Corporation (KTC), based in Torrance, Calif.

Yoshikawa is a 32-year Kubota veteran and most recently held the position of general manager, corporate planning and control department for Kubota Corporation, headquartered in Osaka, Japan. 

During his tenure with Kubota, Yoshikawa has spent nearly 13 years in U.S.-based assignments, most recently as president, Kubota Credit Corp., from 2003 to 2007. In that capacity, Yoshikawa played a significant role in developing the retail credit segment of KTC’s business, which has greatly influenced the company’s growth in recent years.

“Kubota Tractor Corporation has experienced tremendous growth over the last few decades, and I am proud to be a part of its history,” explained Yoshikawa. He follows former KTC president, Yuichi (Ken) Kitao, who served as president from January 2011 to October 2013, prior to his recent appointment as general manager, Farm and Utility Machinery Division for Kubota Corp. 

Acknowledging KTC’s successive record years under Kitao’s leadership, Yoshikawa added, “KTC’s business growth has great momentum due to a forward-looking and tactical company vision, combined with continuous innovation and expansion of Kubota product offerings. Our recent introduction of Kubota Hay Tools and Spreaders, for example, will both enable our dealers to expand their individual businesses, and also provide our valued customers with comprehensive, trusted Kubota product solutions, all in one place.”

Noting Kubota’s recent expansion of its utility vehicle and zero turn mower business with the introduction of its RTV X-Series and Z700-Series last month, and highlighting the company’s renewed focus on its construction equipment business, Yoshikawa added: “We are committed to continuously innovating our products and processes to meet our customers’ needs, and I am confident that in doing so, we will continue to strengthen Kubota’s brand and position in the U.S. marketplace.”

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