UPDATE 2-Sears Canada CEO resigns as retailer works on turnaround

retailers such as Target Corp and Wal-Mart Stores Inc . Chief Operating Officer Douglas Campbell will become CEO with immediate effect, Sears Canada said, adding that McDonald is joining an international company it did not identify. The Globe and Mail newspaper, citing sources familiar with the situation, said McDonald’s departure was sparked by differing views with U.S. parent Sears Holdings, controlled by investor Edward Lampert. The disagreement was tied to “the pace at which capital was being deployed to keep the momentum of the transformation going,” the newspaper quoted the source as saying. Vincent Power, Sears Canada’s director of corporate communications, declined to comment directly on the reports. “I do not know of those differences…I say it is just speculation, it is nothing I comment on because it’s not facts that I am aware of,” Power told Reuters. Sears Canada, 51 percent owned by Sears Holdings Corp , announced a three-year plan in 2012 to reclaim lost market share that included making radical changes to its pricing strategies and sprucing up stores. The company posted its 18th quarterly fall in revenue in the second quarter. Sears Canada also closed two high-profile stores in the Toronto area and sold back the leases earlier this year. McDonald told Reuters in January that he was not entirely happy with the company’s progress in the 19 months since he took the top job. Power said he did not have the details on the company McDonald was joining, but it was an “exciting opportunity.” Campbell joined Sears Canada in March 2011 from Boston Consulting Group, where he led turnaround projects and was named COO last November. The stock was down at C$12.29 in early afternoon trading.

He did not have a chance to review the recommendations of the council before the Governor General made his decision and instruct his lawyer to launch review proceedings at that time, said Koch. Drabinsky was released on day parole in February but was not present in court. Counsel representing the advisory council said in written arguments that the council has no decision making power, it only makes recommendations to the Governor General. Lawyer Christine Mohr also says the court has no power to review decisions made by the advisory council about whether honours should be granted. The decisions are based on social, moral and political concerns, and thus have no bearing on legal rights, she wrote. No one has a right or entitlement to an honour, Mohr told court Tuesday. The council was not obliged to wait 10 months for Drabinsky to get out of prison, she added. Koch argued Tuesday that no appeal process of the decision is provided for by the council. The position of the council seems to be that the Governor General, in signing the termination order, has done something magic that cannot be undone, he said. The review of Drabinsky’s Order of Canada was prompted by a letter from a member of the public which said the Livent fraud undermined the order. A criminal conviction does not mean automatic removal from the order. Drabinsky is only the fifth person to lose the honour and noted in his letter to the advisory council that disgraced Olympian Ben Johnson continues to be a member of the order.

UPDATE 2-Canada may be set for growth spurt after July retail bounce

Sales growth was pumped largely by gasoline stations, where both prices and volumes rose, according to a Statistics Canada report on Tuesday. In volume terms, retail sales rose 0.5 percent in the month. The July rebound matched the median forecast in a Reuters poll. Analysts had foreseen a bounce-back after sales slumped by 0.6 percent in June, hit partly by severe floods in Alberta and a two-week strike by construction workers in Quebec. Canada’s economy looks set to speed up after annualized growth slowed to 1.7 percent in the second quarter from 2.2 percent in the first, and gross domestic product in the month of June actually shrank 0.5 percent. RBC Economics economist Nathan Janzen sees July GDP growth at a solid 0.7 percent. “In turn, the strength in July GDP would be consistent with our expectation that GDP growth in the third quarter rebounded to a 3.4 (annualized) percent rate,” he wrote in a note to clients. Mazen Issa, an economist at TD Securities, sees third quarter growth of just below 2 percent. Both estimates are below the Bank of Canada’s latest projection of 3.8 percent expansion in the third quarter. But the second quarter turned out to be stronger than the central bank’s 1.0 percent estimate, so overall the performance over the two quarters may not substantially change its outlook. “The Bank of Canada will look through the volatility in the data, and over the latter half of the year we see the economy straddling its trend rate of growth owing to a slightly softer consumer spending profile (around 2 percent) and a slow rotation to exports and investment,” Issa said. The Bank of Canada is expected to hold its key interest rate steady until late 2014. [CA/POLL} Gains were reported in eight of the 11 retail subsectors tracked by Statistics Canada in July, representing 52 percent of total retail activity. Gasoline stations had the biggest jump in sales, up 3.2 percent due to higher prices and volumes.

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