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Sears names two key executives at Craftsman, home services

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Sears Holdings has named two key executives to head its home improvement business-related units.

Stu Reed, former executive vp-mobile devices for Motorola, will serve as senior vp and president of Sears home services, the retailer’s home installation unit.

Reed replaces Mark Good, who announced his departure earlier this month. Sears home services include installation services, such as windows, doors and siding, as well as HVAC work and carpet cleaning.

Additionally, Guenther Trieb, a former Procter & Gamble executive, will lead Sears Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard business units.

In this role, Trieb will be responsible for overseeing and “working to grow the value of the company’s major brands,” the retailer said.

Trieb spent 24 years with Procter & Gamble, most recently serving as vp of the company’s Western European feminine care global business unit. He has held a variety of senior leadership roles in brand management, marketing and strategic planning with Procter & Gamble.

Trieb’s position represents a newly created grouping of the company’s home improvement business units. Greg Inwood, vp-Craftsman tools, hardware and paint departed the company earlier this year.

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Carpet One Floor & Home names vp-merchandising

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Carpet One Floor & Home, a division of CCA Global Partners, has named Jim Aaron vp-merchandising.

Aaron most recently served as a senior training specialist with CCA Global Partners. Prior to that, he served as a territory manager with carpet company Mohawk, helping the flooring maker to launch into hard surfaces.

“Aaron’s extensive hard surface experience and history with CCA make him perfect for the role,” said Eric Demaree, president of Carpet One Floor & Home.

Aaron previously worked with William M. Bird & Co. after attending the University of South Carolina and graduating in 1988. He will be based in the company’s St. Louis office.

Carpet One Floor & Home currently has more than 1,000 independently owned and operated locations in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

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Silver linings seen in housing statistics

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Prices of single-family homes across the United States are still falling, but the declines are slowing down, according to one of the leading housing market indictors. Numbers released by Standard & Poor’s showed a 15.4 percent decline in the second quarter of 2008, compared to the same quarter of 2007. The S&P/Case-Shiller Index, which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, also reported annual declines of 17 percent and 15.9 percent, respectively, for its 10-city and 20-city composite price index.

These declines were less than economists had forecast, however. Quarterly figures for nationwide home prices showed a 2.3 percent drop in the three months through June from the previous three months, compared with a 6.8 percent decline in the first quarter of 2008.

“While there is no national turnaround in residential real estate prices, it is possible that we are a seeing some regions struggling to come back, which has resulted in some moderation of price declines at the national level,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at Standard & Poor’s, in a prepared statement.

Las Vegas remains the weakest real estate market in the country, according to the report, closely followed by Miami and Phoenix. For the month of June, Denver and Boston were the best performing markets; each city had three consecutive months of sales gains. Charlotte and Dallas recorded four straight months of positive returns, according to the index.

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