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Retail Roundup: Walgreens Searches for CEO Outside Company, Circuit City May Chop Staff, and More

Walgreens searches outside company for CEO -- More than a week after Jeffrey Rein's hasty resignation from his post as CEO of Walgreen Co., the drug store chain began looking to make history by considering candidates outside the company to fill Rein's shoes. Every CEO in the chain's 107-year history has moved through the company's ranks, but Walgreen's recent decision to hire a search firm for the first time shows it's open to change. Rein's exit coincided with a hard defeat for Walgreen's in which the chain withdrew a bid for Long Drug Store, which agreed to be acquired by CVS Caremark. [Source: Chicago Business]

Circuit City may close stores -- Backed into a corner, electronics retailer Circuit City has begun weighing the few options it has left, according to a article in the Wall Street Journal. The company has hired a bankruptcy firm, a consulting firm, and an investment bank to sort through its troubles as it considers several plans, including one that would close 150 stores, cut thousands of jobs, and free up $350 million in inventory. [Source: WSJ]

National Retail Federation focuses on preventing violence -- While the economic crisis may be at the forefront of many store owners' minds, the National Retail Federation is helping retailers with a different kind of problem: in-store violence. The group's loss-prevention team, in partnership with the International Council of Shopping Centers and the Department of Homeland Security, drafted protocols detailing how retailers should react to violent crimes. The guidelines were issued to attendees of a recent loss-prevention conference in Dallas. For more information on loss prevention, click here. [Source: Austin Business Journal]

UPS to increase ground rates by 5.9 percent -- UPS has some bad news for retailers who rely on the company for their shipping needs. 2009 ground-shipment rates are slated to increase by an average of 5.9 percent, while air-express and U.S. origin international shipments will rise 4.9 percent. FedEx has promised to announce 2009 rate increases for FedEx Ground this year. [Source: internetretailer.com]

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