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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Kmart names Tesco exec Alasdair James as president; Will focus on loyalty members

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Sears Holdings Corp. said Monday that Alasdair James has joined the company as president and chief member officer for its Kmart business, a new position.

James, 44, was most recently the commercial director for British supermarket giant Tesco's global business unit. He will be responsible for Kmart's financial performance and merchandising, marketing and price strategies for its free loyalty program, Shop Your Way.

The Hoffman Estates, Illinois-based company, which is controlled by billionaire hedge fund investor Edward Lampert, also operates Sears stores. As it struggles to restore profitability and turn around sagging sales, it is focusing on a loyalty program that includes discounts for its shoppers.

"Alasdair will work closely with me and our business unit leaders to understand the preferences of Shop Your Way members who shop at Kmart," said Lampert, who is CEO and chairman of Sears Holdings.

First-quarter member sales accounted for 74 per cent of eligible sales at the parent company, the highest level ever. That's up from 68 per cent from the same period a year ago. Sears Holdings is slated to report second-quarter results this month.

Sears' shares slipped 21 cents to close at $37.62 on Monday.

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