SEARS HOLDINGS PROMOTIONS: Sears Holdings Corp. has promoted two key executives. Pete Whitsett was named senior vice president and merchandising officer at the Kmart division. He is now responsible for all merchandise categories for Kmart stores and reports to Aylwin Lewis, president of Sears Holding Corp. and chief executive officer of Kmart and Sears Retail. Joan Chow, vice president of marketing services, was promoted to senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Sears Retail. Chow is responsible for the strategic integration of Sears Roebuck’s marketing and customer relationship management, the company said. She reports to Luis Padilla, president of merchandising and marketing for Sears Retail.
POLO HIRE: Jonathan Drucker will join Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. in the new post of senior vice president and general counsel, effective Monday. Drucker was mostly recently general counsel and managing director of private equity fund Veronis Suhler Stevenson. At Polo, he will be in charge of the company’s domestic and global legal matters, such as acquisitions, trademarks, corporate governance and labor relations. Drucker will report to Mitch Kosh, senior vice president of human resources and legal.
MERVYNS MAN: Mervyns on Tuesday appointed Michael Wallen senior vice president and general merchandise manager for women’s ready-to-wear, men’s and kids’. Wallen will report to Rick Leto, Mervyns’ president and chief merchandising officer, and will be responsible for overseeing merchandising, product development, strategic planning and allocation for his three divisions. Most recently, Wallen was president of JNCO, a manufacturer of young men’s and boys’ casualwear and jeans. Prior to that, he was president of retail at Guess Inc. Mervyns, the Hayward, Calif., promotional department store, has 255 locations in 13 states.
ASDA’S NEW SHAPE: Asda, Wal-Mart’s European arm, said Tuesday it planned to create 2,250 shop-floor jobs, just a week after announcing 1,400 layoffs. A company statement said the new jobs were part of a major store-restructuring program aimed at slimming store management and beefing up frontline customer service. As reported, Asda’s chief executive and president, Andy Bond, axed 1 percent of Asda’s 140,000 strong workforce in a bid to cut costs and regain Asda’s share of the intensely competitive U.K. food and nonfood market. Many of the positions eliminated were managerial. Tuesday’s statement said each of Asda’s 279 U.K. stores would recruit about eight new staffers. Some of the recently laid-off workers are expected to be redeployed in the new positions.