OPERATIONS

Academy Sports plans new distribution center to support expansion

BY Dan Berthiaume

Katy, Texas – Academy Ltd., parent company of the Academy Sports + Outdoors chain, will open a 1.6.-million-plus-sq.-ft. distribution center on a 200-plus-acre site in Cookeville, Tennessee to support its continued expansion. The retailer will begin construction on the facility later in August 2014 with plans to become operational in early 2016.

"The new distribution center will support the long-term growth and continued expansion of Academy Sports + Outdoors while enabling us to provide our customers with quicker access to their favorite sports, outdoors and lifestyle products for the entire family," said Rodney Faldyn, CEO and president.

The company is expected to hire approximately 700 associates during a five-year period with initial hiring to begin in fall 2015. This will be the company’s third distribution center, joining centers in Katy, Texas, and Jeffersonville, Georgia.

Academy currently operates 178 stores in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.

The addition new DC will provide the company added capacity to better serve stores in its existing 13 state trade area while supporting northern expansion into contiguous markets such as Kentucky, Virginia, Illinois and beyond.

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OPERATIONS

Canadian Tire promotes Medline to president/CEO

BY Dan Berthiaume

Toronto – Canadian Tire Corp. has named Michael Medline, who has served as company president since November 2013, as president and CEO effective Dec. 1. Current CEO Stephen Wetmore has agreed to remain on the board of directors in a new, non-executive position of deputy chairman.

Wetmore advised the board of directors in early 2013 that as he was approaching six years as CEO he had completed many of his original objectives and with the company in a very strong position, he believed that the time was right to begin to plan the transfer of the president and CEO roles to a successor.

Medline has been a senior executive of Canadian Tire for more than 13 years and has led many of the company’s most strategic initiatives, including the acquisition of Mark’s in 2002, the acquisition of the Forzani Group in 2011, the acquisition of Pro Hockey Life and the recently announced Scotiabank partnership in May 2014.

For the second quarter of fiscal 2014, Canadian tire reported consolidated earnings per share of $2.12, an 11% increase. Consolidated retail sales rose 5% to $4.8 billion, from $4.52 billion. Same-store sales at Canadian Tire increased 2.8%.

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Target signs legal brief backing same-sex marriage

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Target Corp. has added its name to a legal defense of gay marriage. The move comes four years after the company was criticized for supporting a strident opponent of same-sex unions.

Target signed a court brief backing marriage equality in a pending court case and publicly declared its support of gay marriage, joining the likes of Starbucks, Apple and Intel.

"It is our belief that everyone should be treated equally under the law, and that includes rights we believe individuals should have related to marriage," Target executive VP of human resources Jodee Kozlak wrote on the company’s Bullseye blog. “Without getting into the specifics of a court case, this brief evaluates the issues created by states that both prohibit same-sex marriage and also refuse to recognize marriages that were conducted legally in other states.”

In her blog post, Kozlak wrote that Target has long offered benefits to the same-sex partners of employees.

“But current laws — in places like Wisconsin and Indiana that are addressed in this brief – make it difficult to attract and retain talent,” she wrote. “These disparate laws also create confusing and complicated benefits challenges across multiple states. We believe that everyone – all of our team members and our guests — deserve to be treated equally.

A spokeswoman for the Minnesota Family Council, which was in front of the charge against same-sex marriage in the state, predicted that the move will backfire.

“This is a very risky business decision and ultimately the wrong one because it is families that shop at Target,” Autumn Leva said in a Star Tribune report. “People in Minnesota are still deeply divided on this issue.”

Nearly all of Minnesota’s biggest corporations declined to take a position on the 2012 state referendum to ban gay marriage. The referendum failed and the state Legislature passed a bill recognizing same-sex marriage in 2013.

The case, in which Target has filed a brief, combines legal actions in Wisconsin and Indiana. Federal judges overturned gay marriage bans in both states and state officials appealed. The case is scheduled for an Aug. 26 hearing in the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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