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Ron Boire Running Sears’ Merchandising, Stores

Hoffman Estates, Ill. – Sears Holdings has named CE veteran
Ron Boire chief merchandising officer and president of its Sears and Kmart
stores, effective immediately.

The newly created post, which also carries an executive VP
title, gives the former Sony, Best Buy, Toys “R” Us and Brookstone exec
responsibility for the company’s merchandising function and brick-and-mortar
stores. He will also help integrate the stores with Sears’ multichannel and
service offerings.

“I understand the company’s challenges, but I am more
persuaded by the company’s opportunities and strengths,” Boire said in a
statement, citing its thousands of stores, millions of customers, $40 billion
in annual revenue, and private-label brands. “We have a lot to work with to
improve our business and delight our customers,” including the long-term
commitment of Sears’ board, which has “made such a significant financial
commitment in working to transform this iconic company,” he said.

Boire reports to Sears Holdings’president/CEO Lou
D’Ambrosio. “We are in the midst of a transformation of our business, from
top to bottom, as we seek to become the leading integrated retailer in the
country,” D’Ambrosio said in a statement.

“By attracting someone with
Ron’s significant experience in retail, merchandising and product development
as well as in leading companies through turnarounds, we’re adding a key talent
in accelerating our transformation.”

Boire’s appointment follows weak holiday sales in Sears’
core CE and appliance categories, persistent market share declines in majaps,
successive quarterly losses, and the planned shuttering of upward of 120 Sears
and Kmart stores.

Prior to joining Sears, Boire was president/CEO of executive
gift retailer Brookstone. Before that he served as president, U.S. toys, North
America for Toys “R” Us, overseeing merchandising, marketing and
operations for 670 stores in the U.S. and Canada. He joined the toy chain from
Best Buy, where he was executive VP and global merchandise manager, responsible
for managing the company’s U.S. business teams and overseeing global technology
and vendor management, global sourcing and private label development. Before
that he served in a number of senior roles during a 17-year career at Sony
Electronics, including president of its consumer sales and personal mobile
products companies.