SHEBOYGAN, Wis. -- Schultz Sav-O Stores here has restructured its retail supervisory organization so its Piggly Wiggly corporate and franchise stores can better adjust to market changes.
All retail operations now are supervised by one senior officer -- Bill Jacobson, senior vice president of retail operations, a new position. Jacobson, formerly vice president of franchise operations, assumed oversight of the corporate stores after Tom Fox, vice president of corporate operations, retired.
"There are significant retail challenges facing us in the future, and we feel this will put us in a much better position to react quickly and effectively to changing market conditions," James H. Dickelman, chairman, president and chief executive, said at the company's annual meeting here. Schultz has 18 corporate and 67 franchised Piggly Wiggly stores.
Reporting to Jacobson will be two retail directors -- Steve Marchewka, formerly senior supervisor, and Jim Haase, formerly director of franchise operations -- who will have responsibilities for corporate and franchise stores.
Each retail director will have two supervisors: a former grocery and operations supervisor and a former meat, bakery and deli supervisor. Those titles are no longer being used, Dickelman said, "because we are attempting to do significant cross-training so that both members of the supervisory teams will be very broad-based in total store operations and serve a complementary function to each other and the stores." The changes have been operational "for only a matter of weeks," Dickelman said, "but we are encouraged by the improved communications and focus we are seeing already." For the 16-week first quarter ended April 20, Schultz's net income rose 2% to a record $1.3 million, and sales increased 1.4% to $134.1 million. Dickelman said sales and earnings benefited from the company's increased wholesale business volume, "which offset greater-than-anticipated expenses incurred for provisions for realization of receivables from customers caused by continuing highly competitive retail market conditions." Schultz incurred additional expense hikes from its continuing implementation of business system upgrades, which involve new front-end installations, and the concurrent introduction of an electronic-card marketing program, he said. Nineteen stores offer the Piggly Wiggly Preferred Club card, and 11 more are due to come on-line in June. Dickelman added that Schultz expects to continue to incur substantial expenses as it continues to invest in business systems, but those expenses will ultimately benefit the company "when market conditions stabilize and all retail stores become fully operational with our effective electronic-card marketing system." This year, capital expenditures for corporate stores will continue to decline, while expenditures for franchise units will remain even with the past couple of years, John H. Dahly, executive vice president and chief financial officer, said. At the corporate level, capital spending this year will be about $3.3 million, most of which is allocated for business systems and enabling technology. Capital expenditures were $3.5 million in fiscal 1995 and $3.6 million in 1994, most of which also went to support business systems and related technology, Dahly noted.