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Security breach hits Aldi in 11 states

BY CSA STAFF

New York City Aldi said the names, account numbers and secret codes of customers in 11 states were exposed to potential theft when they used payment cards at machines that had been tampered with, the Associated Press reported.

The company said in a statement Friday that altered payment terminals were illegally placed in some stores between June 1 and Aug. 31.

Aldi spokeswoman Michelle Williams declined to say how many stores or machines or customers were affected or describe any resulting thefts.

Police in the town of St. Charles, Ill., told The Associated Press they’ve received 32 reports of debit-card fraud from people who had shopped at Aldi.

Aldi operates more than 1,100 U.S. stores in 31 states from Kansas to the eastern seaboard.

In its statement, the second that Aldi has released about the breach, the company says it believes it has removed all the affected machines from stores, and it has adopted new security measures that Williams declined to detail.

The company said it does not believe that any employees were involved with the fraud.

The breach affected stores in parts of Connecticut; Georgia; Illinois; Indiana; Maryland; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; Pennsylvania; South Carolina and Virginia.

The company is encouraging customers to carefully review and monitor their debit- and payment-card statements and their credit reports for unusual activity.

Customers who believe their payment cards were affected should immediately contact their bank or payment card company and local law-enforcement authorities, Aldi said.

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Deloitte: Store brands retain a strong presence in retail

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK (Oct. 1)- Deloitte released a report last week that reaffirmed the latest shopping trend among consumers: private-label purchases.

In Deloitte’s new “The Battle for Brands in a World of Private Labels” study, 77% of consumer packaged goods executives and 90% of retail executives surveyed said the market share of store brands will increase significantly by 2012 in the United States, as many consumers find that store brands are manufactured just as well as national brands and find little to no reason to switch back to national brands, Deloitte said.

“Though conventional wisdom has co-branding between retailers and CPG companies as a win-lose proposition, the results of our study indicate that nearly half of retail and CPG executives agree that working together may be the best way to win the wallets of the ‘new consumer,’” said Pat Conroy, vice chairman and Deloitte’s U.S. consumer products practice leader. “What they need to consider are variations on current brands and what new innovations should be brought to market so as not to overwhelm an already substantial marketplace.”

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Walmart, Humana unveil new Medicare Part D prescription drug offering

BY CSA STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Walmart and Humana on Friday unveiled a new Medicare Part D prescription drug offering designed to help both companies gain market share and save money for those enrolled in the program. Co-branded as the Humana Walmart-Preferred Rx Plan, the program involves a $14.80 monthly premium that is less than half the weighted 2010 national average, generic drug co-payments as low as $2 at Walmart pharmacies and no co-payments for select generics filled via Humana’s RightSource home-delivery service. Humana and Walmart said the program has the potential to save Medicare Part D enrollees as much as $450 annually.

“People are more likely to take the medications prescribed for them when they can afford those medications,” said William Fleming, PharmD, VP Humana Pharmacy Solutions. “And adhering to prescription-drug regimens can enable people to be healthier and prevent future illness. At Humana, we believe that this prevention helps people live healthier lives and achieve lifelong well-being.”

John Agwunobi, M.D., president of Walmart’s Health and Wellness division said Walmart is uniquely qualified to help lower the cost of prescriptions because it is the world’s largest retailer.

“We know every dollar counts, especially when you live on a fixed income. We believe no one should have to choose between buying their groceries or their medications,” Agwunobi said.

He called the program an example of Walmart’s commitment to help people save money so they can live better.

It is also an example of how Walmart can bring more shoppers to its store. There are an estimated 18 million people enrolled in the Medicare Part D program, but that figure is forecast to grow to 26 million by 2015. Open enrollment in the program begins Nov. 15 and continues through the end of the year, and Humana and Walmart are undertaking an extensive media relations and marketing campaign to drive awareness and education. A key element involves kiosks in some 3,000 stores which will occasionally be staffed by Humana representatives.

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