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Rite Aid to assist customers with ACA prescription needs

BY Dan Berthiaume

Camp Hill, Penn. — Rite Aid will assist customers with prescription insurance coverage issues related to the Affordable Care Act which went into effect Jan. 1, 2014 and help ensure they are able to access prescription medications under their new plans. Rite Aid joins other pharmacy retailers including Wal-Mart and Walgreens in offering prescription assistance.

In circumstances where customers have enrolled but have not received their plan identification number from their insurance provider, Rite Aid pharmacy staff will work with these customers to verify their eligibility and help them utilize their new benefits. During January, for those customers who are enrolled in exchange-based plans but prescription benefit information is not yet available, Rite Aid pharmacists may dispense a 15 to 30-day supply of medication to these customers at no upfront cost until their prescription coverage details are available.

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99 Cents Only opens Waco, Texas store Jan. 9

BY Dan Berthiaume

City of Commerce, Calif. — 99 Cents Only Stores opens its first store in Waco, Texas on Thursday, Jan. 9. The new store is approximately 13,000 square feet and will feature a perishable food department, including produce, dairy and frozen foods.

99 Cents Only Stores currently operates 339 extreme value retail stores consisting of 244 stores in California, 45 in Texas, 33 in Arizona, and 17 in Nevada.

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Starbucks expands Starbucks cards to China

BY Dan Berthiaume

Seattle — Starbucks is introducing Starbucks gift cards at select locations in mainland China. Starbucks cards can be purchased in three design themes, including Thank You, Kind Regards and Happy Lunar New Year.

“The Lunar New Year is a time when family and friends gather to meet, connect and share stories,” said Belinda Wong, president, Starbucks China. [All of the cards] can be used at our stores in mainland China year-round.”

Since the Starbucks Card launched 12 years ago, $16 billion (U.S. dollars) has been loaded on more than 450 million cards in 27 countries worldwide (as of Sept. 30, 2013).

“The Starbucks Card has become a symbol of appreciation and human connection around the world,” said Adam Brotman, chief digital officer for Starbucks. “We are thrilled to be able to now offer Starbucks Cards to our customers in China.”

Timed to the launch of the Starbucks Gift Card in China, Starbucks is also offering a Lunar New Year Gift Card in participating Starbucks stores in the U.S. The Card celebrates the horse, this year’s honored animal of the Lunar New Year.

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