OPERATIONS

Walgreens names Lelinski corporate VP

BY Dan Berthiaume

Deerfield Park, Ill. — Walgreens has named Mark Lelinski as its new corporate VP, market access. Lelinski will be responsible for contracting and pricing strategies, integration efforts across Walgreens pharmacy, health and wellness division, sales and account management, and developing the company’s managed market strategies.

Lelinski, who joined Walgreens on June 17, previously spent nine years with AstraZeneca in a number of marketing, strategy and managed market roles, both in the US and abroad. Prior to that he was a partner at Accenture, where he headed the pharmaceutical marketing and sales effectiveness practice, and also previously held a number of executive positions supporting physician networks, health plans and health informatics companies.

“Mark is a seasoned leader with an established track record of delivering results, and will help to build upon the excellent work that is being done in our market access group,” said Kermit Crawford, Walgreens president of pharmacy, health and wellness. “His experience in managed market roles both in the U.S. and internationally is the right fit for where Walgreens is headed. As a strategic partner of choice in the health care industry, we believe Mark’s relationship-driven approach will help us strengthen our partnerships and create more value from the emerging models and markets that will be key to our growth moving forward.”

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REAL ESTATE

McDonald’s plans Vietnam expansion

BY Dan Berthiaume

Oak Brook, Ill. – McDonald’s has signed a contract with Vietnamese businessman Henry Nguyen to serve as a developmental licensee for the company in Vietnam.

Nguyen, founder of Good Day Hospitality and managing partner of IDG Ventures Vietnam as well as a former part-time McDonald’s store employee in the U.S., is expected to open Vietnam’s first McDonald’s restaurant in Ho Chi Min City in early 2014.

"We are pleased to be opening in Vietnam and bringing the McDonald’s experience of quality food, great service and contemporary design to our 38th country in Asia," said Don Thompson, president and CEO of McDonald’s Corp.

Vietnam is one of more than 65 countries where McDonald’s uses the developmental licensee model, which it launched 30 years ago.

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News

Report: Retailers shift digital spend toward mobile

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Huntington Beach, Calif. — Retailers are eying mobile devices as the best route to make the most of their digital marketing campaigns.

According to the latest research by Shop.org/Forrester, in the study “The State Of Retailing Online 2013: Marketing & Merchandising,” 87% of online retailers either already have implemented or are planning to implement mobile email optimization in 2013, and seven in 10 will optimize paid search for smartphones and tablets (71% and 73%, respectively).

“As consumer adoption of smartphones and tablets in the United States reaches critical mass, retailers know that their marketing mix has to work optimally for all customer touch-points now,” said Shop.org executive director Vicki Cantrell. “Email has always been one of most effective customer retention vehicles in the market, so it’s no surprise to see retailers investing to make email engaging and relevant for the increasingly mobile consumer.”

According to the study, retailers say that, on average, 28% of emails sent to customers are first opened on a smartphone; the stakes are higher for small retailers who say that on average 42% of their emails are first opened on a smartphone.

Across all digital platforms, email and search are where four out of five retailers (80%) are most likely to invest more this year than last, signaling retailers’ understanding that they need to balance investments and resources in both retention and acquisition. Many retailers are adjusting their staffing accordingly, bolstering marketing budget allocations for search and email with investments in skill sets and staff. Forty percent of retailers surveyed plan to hire for open positions in marketing analytics in 2013, reflecting the need to wrestle down volumes of marketing data to create more effective interactions and an improved customer experience.

For merchandisers, improving the customer shopping experience is key. And for online retailers, those enhancements come in the form of video, personalized content, and more. According to the study, product detail page improvements, particularly video offerings, will be a top focus this year: nearly three-quarters (72%) will invest in integrating video on their sites. Another 62% indicate that recommendations and personalization features will be a priority, including integrating capabilities to create different homepages and creating unique pages for their customers based on purchase history.

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