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Home Depot appoints Helena Foulkes to its board

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Home Depot has a new director on board: Helena B. Foulkes, 49, will serve as a member of the Finance and Leadership Development & Compensation Committees.

"I’m pleased to welcome Helena to our board and look forward to the unique insight she brings from her years of retail experience and leadership," said Frank Blake, chairman and CEO.

Foulkes is currently executive VP and chief healthcare strategy and marketing officer for CVS Caremark Corporation, where she has worked for the past 15 years. She has an extensive background in retail marketing strategies and merchandising, with positions also held in strategic planning, visual merchandising and category management at CVS.

The company has a total of 11 directors, all but one of whom are independent from Home Depot.

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Home Depot sends part-time workers to public healthcare exchanges

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Home Depot will be shifting health coverage for roughly 20,000 part-time workers, who will qualify to seek plans on the new public marketplace exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, according to mutliple media reports.

The part-timers were previously covered under a limited liability medical plan that provided coverage of up to $20,000. Companies will be unable to offer these plans after Dec. 31. Enrollment for government-subsidized healthcare begins Oct. 1.

Though health coverage will be cut for part-timers, Home Depot will continue providing dental, vision, critical illness, disability, back-up dependent care and enrollment in Future Builder 401(k) plans. Part-time workers make up about 5% of Home Depot’s total workforce.

Speculation regarding the change is varied. Some experts believe the exchanges will offer better coverage at a lower cost, while others worry that an unintended consequence of the law will involve more big businesses opting out of coverage for part-timers.

Home Depot spokesperson Stephen Holmes told HCN that workers will have more options for comprehensive coverage on the new marketplace.

Home Depot’s announcement comes on the heels of a similar move by Trader Joe’s, whose part-time workers will also seek coverage on the public exchanges. Some employers, most notably Walgreens, will offer insurance through a private exchange called the Aon Hewitt Corporate Health Exchange.

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Select Sears Hometown & Outlet Stores debut kitchen remodeling services

BY HBSDEALER Staff

More than 20 Sears Home Appliance Showroom and Sears Appliance & Hardware stores in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware have unveiled kitchen remodeling services from Kitchen Tune-Up, a national kitchen and bath remodeling franchise.

The stores feature an interactive Kitchen Tune-Up kiosk, where customers can learn about affordable options to update their kitchen, view cabinet door samples and use an iPad to see project ideas and book an appointment for a no-obligation estimate.

These new kiosks are the first to open from a partnership formed earlier this year between Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores and Kitchen Tune-Up. The partnership allows franchisees and dealers that operate Sears Home Appliance Showroom and Sears Appliance & Hardware stores to purchase a Kitchen Tune-Up franchise at a reduced investment and place a kiosk within their existing store.

The first franchise group to take advantage of the partnership is Prayosha Holdings, which owns and operates the first 23 locations in the program. 

“Customers are always coming into our stores looking for new appliances as a simple way to update their kitchens,” said the company’s director of operations, Joe Coyle. “Therefore, we knew that adding a Kitchen Tune-Up kiosk inside our locations would be a cost-effective way for us to provide them an avenue to take their refresher a step further without making it an intimidating, costly project.”

Kitchen Tune-Up serves residential and commercial customers. Services range from restoring and repairing existing wood cabinets, to refacing cabinets and replacing doors and hardware, to installing completely new custom-built cabinetry. 

Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores and its dealers and franchisees operate 1,245 stores across all 50 states, as well as in Puerto Rico and Bermuda. In addition to merchandise, Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores provide consumers with access to a full suite of services, including home delivery, installation and extended service contracts.

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