OPERATIONS

Hobby Lobby wins ruling in Supreme Court

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Retail chain Hobby Lobby was triumphant In a 5-4 ruling by the Supreme Court on Monday in which the court ruled that the federal government cannot force privately held corporations to provide forms of contraceptive coverage that violate the religious beliefs of their owners. The ruling means that private companies can opt out of the Affordable Health Care Act’s contraception coverage mandate.

The family-owned Hobby Lobby, based in Oklahoma City, operates approximately 600 stores nationwide. (Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., East Earl, Pennsylvania, manufacturers cabinets.) It is owned by the religiously conservative Green family, who challenged the contraception coverage mandate saying it forced them to either violate their faith or pay ruinous fines.

The court’s decision applies only to the contraceptive coverage mandated by the new law.

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OPERATIONS

Schnuck Markets names CIO

BY Marianne Wilson

St. Louis — Schnuck Markets announced that Robert Hardester has been appointed the company’s new CIO. Hardester succeeds Mark Zimmerman, who recently announced that he would be leaving the company.

Hardester most recently served as a VP corporate systems at Express Scripts, where he was responsible for application development. He previously held the position of CIO at Furniture Brands International and at General Electric.

The Schnucks executive team is interested in moving forward in ways that appeal to the individual customer rather than to the masses,” Hardester said. “That requires more analytics and more emphasis on consumer trends. Maintaining a secure IT environment is a top priority in today’s retail world, but Schnucks is a company that wants to do more with IT — leveraging segmentation, merchandising, mobile apps, social networking and using what is learned to help deliver positive and exciting in-store experiences.”

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OPERATIONS

Dollar General CEO Rick Dreiling to retire

BY Marianne Wilson

Goodlettsville, Tenn. — Dollar General announced that CEO and chairman Rick Dreiling plans to retire as chief executive effective May 30, 2015, or when a successor is appointed. The 60-year-old Dreiling has agreed to remain as chairman during the transition process once a new CEO is named. Family Dollar said it is conducting an internal and external search for a chief executive.

Dreiling has served as CEO since January 2008, and was named chairman of the board in December 2008. Under his leadership, the company’s annual sales have increased more than 80% to $17.5 billion in 2013, and store count has increased by 38% to more than 11,000 stores in 40 states.

“Rick Dreiling has proven that he is clearly one of retail’s leading CEOs,” said Mike Calbert, the company’s lead director. “During his tenure as CEO, Rick has driven significant shareholder value and led the company’s improvement on essentially every key operating metric. In addition, he has recruited and developed an outstanding management team and strengthened the company’s culture and mission.”

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