RONALD FLOTO TO LEAVE KMART POSTS ON MAY 5

NEW YORK — Ronald J. Floto will resign as Kmart Corp.’s executive vice president and president of Super Kmart Centers, effective May 5.
The Troy, Mich.-based discounter said Floto has decided to accept a new post with an international company it declined to identify. A Kmart spokesman said the retailer would reveal Floto’s new employer later this week, but did not say why the information was being delayed.
Floto was unavailable for comment Tuesday.
Floyd Hall, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Kmart, will head the Super Kmart division on an interim basis. Ernest L. Heether, senior vice president of merchandise planning and replenishment, will assume responsibility for Kmart’s distribution centers, which also reported to Floto.
Floto joined Kmart in October 1994, after serving as chairman, president and ceo of Kash n’ Karry Food Stores Inc.
Kmart operates 97 Super Kmart Centers in 21 states and plans to open three new superstores this year, in California, Michigan and Ohio. The stores range from 135,000 to 194,000 square feet and offer a broad variety of fresh foods, general merchandise and services.
The services include hair salons, florists, UPS shipping, banking, quick photo processing and video rentals. A layout introduced in 1996 that placed fresh foods at the front of the supercenters spurred sales of more than 33 million tons of meat at Super Kmart stores last year.
In other Kmart news, Moody’s Investor Service updated its debt-rating outlook on the chain Tuesday, reflecting the discounter’s improved financial performance and long-term plans. Moody’s also confirmed ratings on $5.4 billion in Kmart debt, including its senior unsecured debt rated at B3.
“Kmart’s stronger sales and earnings, repayment of its bank term loan, and improving operating outlook reflect the continued progress management is making in improving financial performance,” the rating agency stated.

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