MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Walgreens, AARP team up on free health testing

BY Dan Berthiaume

Deerfield Park, Ill. – Walgreens is launching the 2014 Walgreens Way to Well Health Tour with AARP. For six years, Walgreens and AARP have conducted the community outreach program dedicated to providing free preventive and early detection health services to communities across the country.

Now through December, Walgreens will use the tour to provide free health tests, assessments, education and consulting services. In addition, the tour introduces various aspects of the Walgreens Balance Rewards loyalty program. The health tour is comprised of a fleet of four customized vehicles that will simultaneously tour separate regions of the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

“The free health tests offered provide valuable insight into your overall health and wellness. They are a great way to learn how to make changes to improve your health and reduce the risk of common chronic illnesses,” said Harry Leider, M.D., Walgreens chief medical officer. “Walgreens purpose is to help people get, stay and live well and by providing these free preventive and early detection health services, we aim to improve the everyday health of Americans nationwide.”

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OPERATIONS

Target to adopt MasterCard chip-and-PIN technology by 2015; names new CIO

BY Marianne Wilson

Minneapolis — Target Corp. named veteran IT executive Bob DeRodes as chief information officer. The retailer also announced that it plans to incorporate MasterCard chip-and-PIN technology across its Target-branded REDcard portfolio by early 2015, and is converting existing payment terminals at its stores this year ahead of schedule.

DeRodes replaces Beth Jacob, who left the chain in early March in the wake of Target’s massive pre-Christmas data breach. He has 40 years of experience in information technology, and has been a senior information technology adviser for the Center for CIO Leadership, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Secretary of Defense and the U.S. Department of Justice. He will assume oversight for the company’s technology team and operations, effective May 5, with responsibility for the ongoing data security enhancement efforts as well as the development of Target’s long-term information technology and digital initiatives.

Regarding its rollout of MasterCard’s chip-and-PIN solution across its branded credit card portfolio, Target said that its existing co-branded cards will be reissued as MasterCard co-branded chip-and-PIN cards. Ultimately, all of Target’s REDcard products will be chip-and-PIN secured.

Earlier this year, Target announced an accelerated $100 million plan to move its REDcard portfolio to chip-and-PIN-enabled technology and to install supporting software and next-generation payment devices in stores. The new payment terminals will be in all 1,797 U.S. stores by this September, six months ahead of schedule.

“Target has long been an advocate for the widespread adoption of chip-and-PIN card technology,” said John Mulligan, executive VP, CFO, Target. “As we aggressively move forward to bring enhanced technology to Target, we believe it is critical that we provide our REDcard guests with the most secure payment product available. This new initiative satisfies that goal.”

The company said it will continue its search for a chief information security officer and a chief compliance officer.

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OPERATIONS

PriceSpider expands Where-to-Buy categories

BY Dan Berthiaume

Irvine, Calif. – PriceSpider has expanded availability of its Where-to-Buy (WTB) services. Previously available in the consumer electronics space, the PriceSpider WTB service is now also available and in use in the home appliance, toy, automotive parts, sporting goods and consumer packaged goods markets.

By leveraging real-time Web crawlers instead of data feeds, PriceSpider WTB technology serves up instantaneous information. The service can be integrated into a manufacturer’s website allowing consumers to see real-time pricing and stock information for online and local sellers and mobile shoppers to use their phones and/or tablets to locate and purchase products or get directions to their local sellers. Brands and retailers obtain consumer data that can be analyzed.

With the PriceSpider WTB service, consumers visiting a manufacturer’s website see all authorized/preferred sellers endorsed by the brand. In addition, consumers can directly view up-to-the-minute pricing and stock availability.

“The PriceSpider real-time Where-to-Buy engine gives consumers the ability to easily pinpoint exactly where the desired product is available and in stock, both via online and local sellers, and at what price,” said Anthony Ferry, CEO, PriceSpider. “This level of access simplifies the purchase process in a wide array of retail industries and creates happy customers who are more likely to become brand advocates.”

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