Retail federation dismayed by healthcare ruling
After the Supreme Court upheld the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the National Retail Federation (NRF) said it will redouble its efforts to repeal the healthcare law.
“We’re disappointed by today’s ruling,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay in a statement. “The Court missed an opportunity to redress the many shortcomings of the law."
A consistent skeptic of the Affordable Care Act, Shay said the law wrongly puts a focus on penalizing employers and the private sector, and not enough emphasis on reducing the costs of health care.
“Although the Court upheld the law’s constitutionality, many problems remain: it penalizes employers too much; it doesn’t do enough to reduce the cost of health care, and it is unreasonably complicated and difficult to implement and administer,” he said.
NRF will “redouble our efforts to repeal the law,” according to the statement.
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Fifty winning retailers, state by state
Home Channel News selected 50 hardware stores — one from each state — for inclusion in the second annual Hardware Store All-Star list. The stores distinguish themselves with strong customer service, innovative approaches to retail and a connection to community and customers.
The alphabetical listing of All-Star stores, one from each of the 50 U.S. states, continues here with Virginia and Washington:
A sign outside the front door at this venerable Richmond location reads: “Corn Hole Boards Sold Here.” For the uninitiated, those are the beanbag boards popular at carnivals and fundraisers. It’s that kind of off-the-wall item that distinguishes what one customer calls “an old-fashioned hardware store on steroids.” Now with five Virginia locations, Pleasants Hardware sells more than 50,000 products, from odd “whatchamacallits” to brand-name power tools.
McDaniel’s Do It Center
The 2012 Golden Hammer “Tools of the Trade” Award winner, McDaniel’s Do It Center epitomizes the hardware retailer that champions innovation and best practices across its operation to generate results and connect with customers. Successfully creating an upscale paint business for its DIY base and for continuous reinvestment in its business, the store is a worthy honoree. It has been recognized by Do it Best as an “extreme retailer” and also a several-time purchase-award winner.
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Lowe’s enters Microsoft’s cloud
Lowe’s has signed an agreement with Microsoft Corp. to implement Microsoft Office 365 across more than 1,745 stores, 200,000 employees and its corporate offices in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Office 365 will help the home improvement retailer improve customer service by providing collaboration tools to increase communication among its stores and employees. The technology will be available for Lowe’s employees soon and will help customers tap into the collective expertise of Lowe’s work force.
"Office 365 is another tool we’re using to help redefine customers’ home improvement experiences," said Paul Ramsay, senior VP IT solutions at Lowe’s. "We’re giving our employees the tools to connect quickly and easily, with one goal in mind: to make home improvement simple."
As Lowe’s strives to help its employees seamlessly communicate, collaborate and connect with other employees, Office 365 offers the ability to grow with Lowe’s users and provides simple interoperability and familiarity with Microsoft programs.
"What’s inspiring about the plans Lowe’s has for Office 365 is it really shows the power of the cloud by giving its employees the ability to deliver what they need to best help their customers, the very moment they need it," said Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate VP Microsoft office division.