Sears to spin off Hometown and Outlet stores
Sears Holdings Corp. filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on April 30 indicating its plans to spin off its Hometown and Outlet stores into a separate company, according to an article in the Chicago Tribune.
The retailer hopes to raise between $400 million and $500 million in liquidity through the new entity, called Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores. Current shareholders will get the right to buy one share in the new company for each share of Sears common stock they own. The stock would be traded on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker SHOS.
Sears chairman Edward Lampert, who owns approximately 62% of Sears Holdings, parent company of Sears and Kmart stores, would also own a similar majority in the new company, according to the filing.
Sears announced its intention to spin off the store in late February. The public offering would involve more than 1,100 hometown and 122 outlet stores. In its filing, the company said it plans to close six Hometown stores and nine hardware stores in the first half of the year.
Hometown stores are small hardware stores operated in a franchise-type arrangement. Outlet stores sells appliances and other Sears merchandise in a discount warehouse setting.
In its latest filing, Sears reported a fourth-quarter loss of $2.4 billion, compared with net income of $374 million a year earlier. Sales dropped fell 4% to $12.5 billion.
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Rockler Earth Day program boosts green awareness
Medina, Minn.-based Rockler Woodworking and Hardware announced that the company met its Earth Day goal of raising enough money to plant 20,000 new hardwood trees.
Rockler joined efforts with the Hardwood Forestry Fund as part of an Earth Day celebration and reforestation effort. Rockler pledged to donate the price of one tree for every purchase made from April 1 through April 22, up to a goal of 20,000 trees.
Thanks to elevated customer participation, the goal was reached earlier than expected.
Rockler has long been a supporter of reforestation efforts. Its partnership with the Hardwood Forestry Fund has grown in recent years. The 2012 Earth Day event was twice as ambitious as last year’s, doubling the goal from 10,000 to 20,000 trees planted.
"The event has been hugely successful and has received overwhelming customer support," said Scott Ekman, VP marketing at Rockler. "Hitting our goal tells us our customers really understand the importance of supporting organizations like the Hardwood Forestry Fund, and we in turn extend our support."
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What businesses can learn from government mistakes
Two recent high-profile incidents have proven there’s a lack of basic leadership at the highest levels of government.
The first involved Government Services Administration members partying in grand style all over the United States. The second was the Secret Service prostitute scandal before the hemispheric conference in Columbia. Both examples show a blatant disregard for basic leadership by chief executives in some of our top agencies.
The GSA left a trail of over-the-top carousing from Hawaii to Las Vegas while a nation in debt continued to fall further behind every day.
There’s no excuse: While the GSA leader did not even attend the infamous near-million-dollar Vegas conference, she certainly still had oversight responsibility. Taxpayers (the employers) expect the GSA to fulfill its mission of maintaining government buildings and related services at a reasonable cost. We don’t expect to be supporting our leaders’ wild nights on the Strip.
The case of the Secret Service demonstrates an even greater lack of leadership. If the Secret Service director had regularly communicated a culture of ethical behavior and shown a passion for the integrity of the organization, it is unlikely that any Secret Service member would have ever considered hiring a hooker on a presidential mission.
Even if one agent got out of line, you’d expect others to jump in to correct the situation or turn in the offender. Sadly, devoid of ethical leadership, these entitled agents felt no sense of responsibility to themselves, the agency, the president or the public.
Learning our lessons
Similar issues raise their ugly heads all the time in the business world. There are stories daily about value breakdowns by corporate leaders who have failed to set the right ethical direction. Instead of endless investigations into why these situations occur and irrelevant laws to prevent them from happening again, the action we should take to prevent ethical lapses is re-instituting basic leadership principles for chief executives.
Here’s a refresher on Leadership 101:
• Be clear about values and never bend those values.
• Passionately discuss values so everyone, without exception, is on the same page.
• Set clear direction and expectations that will lead to achieving the expected results.
• Define the central mission clearly and repetitively so no one is confused.
• To be sure your message sticks, say it 10 times or more since people only retain 10 percent of what they hear a week later.
• Communicate regularly so people can understand and follow your mission going forward.
Strong, ethical leaders are the foundation of good government and back-to-basics business. It’s up to each leader to start changing our world one principle at a time.
Joe Scarlett is founder of the Scarlett Leadership Institute and the retired chairman of Tractor Supply Co. He can be reached [email protected].
Well, yes, to my mind,
Well, yes, to my mind, effective leadership possesses certain qualities such as integrity, fairness, communication skills and foresight. An effective leader is a leader with integrity who follows through on his word, exceeds expectations and lives out the standards he preaches. A good leader is fair in all situations, not showing favoritism or prejudice. An effective leader is also able to communicate effectively interpersonally and organizationally, and is able to foresee issues, successes and potential difficulty to plan accordingly, like taking online loans no credit, launching a new business campaign, etc.
"Strong, ethical leaders are
"Strong, ethical leaders are the foundation . . .." Well said.