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WOMEN, MINORITIES GET A BOOST AT SEARS: As part of its drive to seek out and work with more minority and women-owned suppliers, Sears Merchandise Group has named Carol A. Martin director of minority and women-owned sourcing. It is a new position.
She is responsible for working with Sears' buying teams to increase business with minority and women-owned suppliers.
Martin was previously the hand-tool buyer for the Sears catalog and reports to Doug Shuman, divisional vice president of strategic sourcing.
Sears said it hopes this effort will foster entrepreneurship.

STEIN MART PUSHES NORTH AND WEST: Stein Mart, a 71-unit, off-price chain concentrated in the Sunbelt, is opening new markets north and west of its traditional trading area.
One such market is Indianapolis, where the Jacksonville, Fla.-based company opened a store in the past quarter. Jack Williams, president and chief operating officer, said, "We've been operating in Kansas City [Kan.] for several years and plan to keep pushing our expansion north and west. We've been treated extremely well by consumers in Indianapolis and Ohio."
The company plans a store in Columbus, Ohio, next spring, and a second Cincinnati unit this fall.
Stein Mart reported second-quarter earnings advanced 8.2 percent to $4.9 million, or 21 cents a share, from $4.5 million, or 19 cents, a year ago.
In the period ended July 2, sales shot up 22.4 percent to $97.2 million from $80 million. Comparable-store sales moved ahead 1.1 percent.
Stein Mart, which started with two units in 1977, plans to open nine more stores this year, bringing its total to 80.

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