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Two more Sears executives retire

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Two top executives from Sears Holdings have announced retirement, in the midst of the company’s major restructuring project aimed at creating independently run departments, which the company says are meant to increase efficiency.

Tina Settecase, vp-Kenmore appliances; and Greg Inwood, vp-Craftsman tools, hardware and paint, have retired from the company, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Settecase, 58, announced her retirement last week after 35 years with the company. She will be succeeded by Steven Light, vp-inventory management.

Inwood, a 30-year veteran of the company, announced his retirement four weeks ago and was reassigned as vp-merchandising shortly before his retirement. He will be succeeded by Dave Figler, a former vp at Staples.

Both Light and Figler will report to Douglas Moore, senior vp-electronics, appliances and tools business units.

Robert Luse, senior vp-human resources; and John Walden, executive vp and chief customer officer, have also left the company in recent weeks.

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IKEA to expand presence in Poland

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Polish developer Inter IKEA Centre Polska — part of the IKEA group — will soon begin construction on a large shopping center in Lodz, Poland, according to a report in the Warsaw Business Journal.

Called Port Lodz, the 127,000-square-foot shopping center is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2009 and will represent the Swedish retailer’s seventh property in Poland.

The new shopping center — anchored by a 33,000-square-foot IKEA store — will also house more than 270 stores and service shops.

“Port Lodz will be a unique project,” Renata Burejza, public relations and marketing manager at Inter IKEA Centre Polska, told the newspaper. “Unlike the rest of our centers in Poland, it will not be a retail park but rather a more traditional shopping center in which the whole retail space is contained in a single building.”

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Home sales slide in January

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Existing-home sales — including single-family, townhouses, condos and apartment buildings — declined 0.4 percent last month, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million units in January from a level of 4.91 million in December, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The results are 23.4 percent below the 6.44 million-unit pace set in January 2007.

Single-family home sales decreased 0.5 percent, while existing multi-family housing units fell 6.5 percent from the previous year.

The national existing-home price median for all housing types was $201,100, a 4.6 percent drop from a year ago.

Total housing inventory rose 5.5 percent at the end of January to 4.19 million existing homes for sale, representing a 10.3-month supply at the current sales pace.

Regionally, sales of existing homes in the Northeast fell 3.6 percent in January, with the West experiencing the second largest drop at 2.1 percent. Sales in the South slipped 0.5 percent last month. However, the Midwest saw sales of existing homes rise 3.4 percent in January 2007 compared to last year.

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