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Williams-Sonoma plans DC expansion in Charlotte

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Sutter Street Manufacturing, a subsidiary of Williams-Sonoma, plans a $2.7 million expansion to its manufacturing and distribution center in Hickory, N.C., according to a press release from the office of North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley.

The site will serve as a product development hub, a regional distribution center and an upholstered furnishings manufacturing facility. The facility is expected to employ about 820 people and will be expanded over five years. Currently, the Hickory location employs around 50 people.

Sutter Street Manufacturing makes exclusive home decor items sold through Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, PBteen, West Elm and Williams-Sonoma Home stores.

The company received incentives for the move, including rebates through North Carolina’s job development investment grant program.

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The NKBA names new head

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The National Kitchen & Bath Association has announced Don Sciolaro has been named CEO of the trade organization.

Sciolaro joined the NKBA in 2006 as director of member services, where his initiatives included increasing membership and strengthening the NKBA’s local chapter programs. He oversaw the recruiting, retention and recognition of NKBA members worldwide.

Prior to his service at the NKBA, Sciolaro spent 15 years with the National Association of Manufacturers, most recently as senior regional manager for the group’s New York/New Jersey region. He was responsible for membership and organizing grassroots public affairs efforts.

The National Kitchen & Bath Association is a non-profit trade association that owns the Kitchen/Bath Industry Show & Conference and includes more than 41,000 members.

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Sears eliminates 100 HQ jobs

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Sears Holdings has announced it will eliminate 100 jobs at its headquarters, a move sparked by lagging sales combined with a corporate restructuring plan at the parent of Sears and Kmart stores.

According to the Chicago Tribune, jobs affected by cuts came from several different departments, including operations, logistics and store support.

The Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based company has been struggling of late, with fourth-quarter earnings down 47.5 percent year-over-year and sales down 6.8 percent. To spur sales, the company launched a new ad campaign last month called “ReImagine You,” which is slated to run through May.

In February, the company cut 200 jobs, and some key home channel executives departed the company, including Tina Settecase, vp-Kenmore appliances, and Greg Inwood, vp-Craftsman tools, hardware and paint.

In March, the company appointed some new key executives, including Douglas Moore to the position of senior vp and president-appliances and John Froman as head of the retailer’s tools and lawn and garden divisions.

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