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Schnucks Hires New CIO

St. Louis-based grocery chain Schnuck Markets Inc. has tapped Robert Hardester as its new chief information officer.

Hardester will report to COO Anthony Hucker and will serve on the senior management team that sets the direction for the company. 

Hardester succeeds Mark Zimmerman, who recently announced his intention to leave the company but agreed to stay on board to help his successor.  “We are very excited to have Bob on our team," Hucker said. "His experience will further our efforts to be a world class IT organization with systems, tools and analytics that offer a greater understanding of what our customers want from Schnucks as we deliver on our mission of nourishing people’s lives.”

Experience at Express Scripts, GE

Most recently, Hardester served as VP of corporate systems at Express Scripts in St. Louis, where he was responsible for application development.  Prior to that, he served as CIO both at Furniture Brands International in St. Louis and at General Electric in the Commercial Distribution Finance division in Chicago, Ill.

“The Schnucks executive team is interested in moving forward in ways that appeal to the individual customer rather than to the masses.  That requires more analytics and more emphasis on consumer trends,” Hardester said.  “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.” 

Celebrating 75 years of serving customers in 2014, family-owned Schnuck Markets operates 98 stores and 94 in-store pharmacies in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa. 

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