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Sears Canada to lay off close to 800 workers

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Sears Canada has announced its plans to lay off nearly 800 employees over the next six months, as well to shut down its central parts processing center in Belleville, Ontario, and 16 other stand-alone parts processing locations.

"The changes we are announcing today are being made to bring the structure of our organization in line with the size of our business," said president and CEO Doug Campbell, who was hired a few months ago after Calvin McDonald jumped ship for Sephora. "These improvements are initiatives we are implementing as part of the efficiency lever, one of the three levers we utilize along with the merchandising lever and network lever to maximize total value for the organization. While right-sizing is important for a more effective enterprise, our greatest opportunity lies within the merchandising lever, where our focus is on providing quality products and services that Canadians expect from Sears when and where they want them at prices that provide great value."

“Decisions that affect associates such as those which we announced today are not taken easily, and are made with great forethought and consideration," he added. 

Of those affected, 712 will be in its repair services business and 79 will be at the head office in Toronto. In the stead of its repair technicians and support teams, the company will hire contracted technicians in mid-sized cities; for large cities, Sears technicians will be kept in place.

The Belleville, Ont. center will be consolidated into three fulfillment centers in Calgary, Toronto and Montreal, according to the retailer.

The retailer has been steadily selling its store leases and shutting down key locations. A report in the New York Post on Monday alleged that Sears Holdings is considering the sale of Sears Canada, which the retailer denied.

In its most recent earnings report, Sears Canada posted a net loss of $48.8 million.

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Lowe’s adds product locator to mobile app

BY HBSDEALER Staff

In an effort to enhance its in-store experience, Lowe’s has integrated Point Inside, Inc.’s StoreMode mobile technology into its app to help customers locate products themselves.

"Helping customers complete their home improvement projects simply and easily is what Lowe’s is all about," said Ronnie Damron, SVP multi-channel testing and commercialization. "We’re constantly looking for new, innovative ways to use technology to serve our customers better. Whether customers are browsing the store for ideas or searching for a specific item in a hurry, we think the Product Locator feature will simplify the shopping process, creating a better experience that encourages customers to come back again and again."

The new Product Locator feature will allow customers to search for products and locate them on a detailed store map. Customers can also create shopping lists, look up prices, inventory availability, detailed product information, ratings and reviews, as well as weekly ads that are all specific to the location.

Store employees will also be equipped with the app in order to provide better service.

The feature is available via Lowe’s iOS and Android mobile apps, as well as Lowe’s mobile-optimized website. 

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Dave Dworsky named CEO of Heatwurx

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Dave Dworsky has been appointed president and CEO of Heatwurx, Inc., an eco-friendly asphalt preservation and repair equipment company based in Colorado.

Effective Dec. 16, Dworsky will transition from his current role as president and CEO of Dworsky Partners, replacing current Heatwurx CEO Stephen Garland.

"I can’t be more enthused about becoming a part of this innovative business opportunity," said Dworsky. "With the passion that this organization has for this state-of-the-art process, it appears that our journey will prove out to be very exciting and eventful. I am proud to be part of the Team!"

“We had very specific criteria for our new CEO, and we were very strategic about finding the right person – Dave is that person,” said Heatwurx director Reg Greenslade, who led the board’s search committee. “No one better understands the needs of contractors, federal, state and local transportation agencies, and their need to find cost-effective and efficient methods to repair and preserve our nation’s roads.”

Dworsky will be responsible for accelerating the company’s momentum and growth in new markets, as well as increasing shareholder value. He has created and managed 15 companies over the span of his 25-year career.

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