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Kmart Announces Regional Restructuring, Exec Shifts

NEW YORK -- Kmart Corp. has restructured its field organization and support services and announced a series of executive moves in fashion merchandising and operations.<BR><BR>Under the new field structure, Kmart said it will save more than $10 million...

NEW YORK — Kmart Corp. has restructured its field organization and support services and announced a series of executive moves in fashion merchandising and operations.

Under the new field structure, Kmart said it will save more than $10 million annually. The changes are expected to be implemented by Jan. 15.

The retailer has identified four regional areas — eastern, southern, midwestern and western — each consisting of 450 to 600 Kmart stores. Previously there were three regions: east-central, west-central and southern.

With the move to four geographic regions, Kmart is also restructuring its field support organization. The stores will now report directly to regional managers rather than reporting to both district and regional hardlines managers.

“By restructuring our field organization, we will expand the responsibilities of each of our regional managers, said Joseph E. Antonini, chairman and chief executive officer of Kmart. “The streamlined field organization will allow Kmart headquarters to react more quickly and better meet the needs of our Kmart stores…enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of our entire organization.”

As for executive changes, Glenn B. Smith, executive vice president of merchandising, has retired after 40 years with the company.

Donald W. Keeble was promoted to executive vice president, merchandising and operations, assuming Smith’s responsibilities, and overseeing field operations, sales, quality assurance, marketing, store planning, advertising and all hardlines and softlines merchandising.

Keeble reports to Joseph R. Thomas, executive vice president of U.S. Kmart Stores. Keeble was Kmart’s senior vice president and general merchandise manager of fashion. He joined Kmart as a management trainee in 1971.

Ronald L. Buch was promoted to vice president of fashion merchandising and assumes Keeble’s previous responsibilities.

Robert D. Moore, who was divisional vice president of men’s fashion merchandising, is now divisional vice president of import sourcing and fashion services.

Moore is responsible for merchandise sourcing and product development through Kmart’s overseas offices and for the coordination of fashion trends for the apparel and hardlines buying organizations.

Paul J. Hueber was promoted to senior vice president of sales and operations. In this new post, Hueber, who has been with the company since 1970, will supervise advertising, marketing, store planning, sales and operations.

In Kmart’s international division, Steven Smalley was promoted to director of international store operations, reporting to Thomas W. Watkins, senior vice president of international operations.

In its Super Kmart Center division, Timothy M. White was named director of sales, advertising and marketing. White reports to Hueber.

Kmart operates more than 4,000 retail outlets in 50 states, Canada, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. This year, Kmart joint venture operations will open stores in Mexico and Singapore.