HOFFMAN ESTATES - Hoffman Estates-based Sears Holdings Corp. has named former Brookstone Inc. head Ron Boire as executive vice president, chief merchandising officer and president of its Sears and Kmart brands.
The struggling company, which disclosed on Thursday a list representing 79 of the 100 to 120 stores it plans on closing, said Tuesday that Boire will lead merchandising and retail stores for both the Sears and Kmart brands.
Boire served as president and CEO of Brookstone, a specialty retailer that offers entertainment, travel, wellness and consumer electronics products.
Sears Holdings CEO and President Lou D'Ambrosio said in a statement that the retailer is "in the midst of a transformation of our business, from top to bottom" and that Boire will be a strong addition because of his retail, merchandising and product development experience as well as his past work in helping companies through turnarounds.
Sears' store closings are the latest and most visible in a long series of moves to try to fix a company that has struggled with falling sales and shabby stores as rivals like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp. spruced up their looks and turned into one-stop shopping sources.
Sears Holdings runs both Kmart and Sears stores. Sears and Kmart merged in 2005. The projected store closings represent about 3 percent of Sears Holdings' U.S. stores.
Before heading Brookstone, Boire was president, U.S. Toys, North America for Toys "R' Us from 2006 to 2009, overseeing merchandising, marketing and operations for 600 stores in the U.S. and 70 in Canada.
Sears, which is based in Hoffman Estates, Ill., has more than 4,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada.