ECOMMERCE

Longs Drug Stores Adds Consumer Access

BY CSA STAFF

Walnut Creek, Calif. Longs Drug Stores has partnered with Microsoft HealthVault, a consumer-health platform that shares information with patients and healthcare providers.

Using the Microsoft feature, Longs customers will be able to gain access to their medication information and share that information in a secure environment with their healthcare providers.

The new service is expected to launch in fall 2008. According to Longs, it is one of the first pharmacies to provide this consumer access to health information.

In a prepared release, Longs’ senior VP and CIO Mike Laddon said, “Providing access to electronic records and teaming with organizations such as Microsoft serves to empower our patients and we hope, improve their overall health.”

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A&P, Best Cellars open up shop in N.J.

BY CSA STAFF

WESTWOOD, N.J. A&P unveiled the fruit of its partnership with Best Cellars, a specialty retailer of adult beverages, with its first-ever Best Cellars at A&P shop in the New York City suburb of Bergen County, N.J.

The unit incorporates the Best Cellars philosophy of merchandising wine by flavor, rather than label or variety. The 8,500-square-foot unit–7,400 square feet of selling space–offers some innovations as well. For the first time, a Best Cellars concept is offering beer by flavor profile as well as wine, helping consumers navigate the range of major brewery, import and craft products on the market.

Also, A&P is using various data sources to develop a series of Top 10 displays that offer the most popular labels in a variety of categories, such as American sparkling wines or Merlot, in which case, the merchandising incorporates product from any point of origin.

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Borders continues rollout of new concept store in Massachusetts

BY CSA STAFF

ANN ARBOR, Mich. Borders is rolling out its new concept store–the first of which was launched in Ann Arbor, Mich., in February–to Wareham Crossing Wareham, Mass., on July 11.

The new 25,401-square-foot concept will blend digital and Internet options with a new look and incorporates new features and in-store services for a better customer shopping experience.

“The opening of our initial concept store in Ann Arbor generated tremendous media attention,” said Borders Group ceo George jones. “It has been a huge success and customers love it.

“We’ve stayed true to what our customers have always loved about Borders–deep and intelligent selection, knowledgeable staff and a comfortable, welcoming atmosphere,” he continued. “Yet, we’ve brought a fresh, new look and an exciting interactive dimension to the store with a Digital Center where customers can do everything from mix and make their own custom CDs, download books and music, publish their own books and create photo books–all without being computer experts because we have trained people there to help every step of the way,” said Jones.

The store features a cafe with an outdoor seating area and is decorated in warm, neutral colors. Throughout the store, large, illuminated drums suspended from the ceiling feature graphics that help guide customers to destinations within the store. Also prominent is the Digital Center, marked by a 3D, 12-foot fixture and sign package. Within the Digital Center there are multiple computer kiosks and stations dedicated to new services that include the ability to mix and make custom CDs and self-publish books, among other things.

“Overall, this new concept store is a key part of our long-term strategic plan,” said Jones. “We set out to differentiate Borders and give customers a reason to choose us over other retailers and we’ve achieved that goal spectacularly with this new concept store. And now with the new Borders.com, we’ll be able to truly deliver on our cross-channel retail strategy … I’m proud of what we’ve created and I’m thrilled with the way customers have embraced it,” he said.

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