Walgreens opens 15th DC
Deerfield, Ill. Walgreens Wednesday opened its newest distribution center in Windsor, Conn. Thirty percent of the work force at the new DC, Walgreens’ 15th to date, is made up of people with disabilities.
“We’ve worked technology and creativity into every inch of this place, but the people here will amaze you,” said Randy Lewis, SVP supply chain and logistics, Walgreens. “We originally went into this project wanting to change the work environment but soon discovered we were the ones who changed in dramatic and wonderful ways.”
The employees with disabilities were trained to work side-by-side with other team members — with the same productivity goals, earning the same pay. Disabilities range from autism and retardation, to hearing and physical impairments. An on-site training facility helps those with special needs become prepared for employment so everyone can work productively and effectively.
The 700,000-sq.-ft. facility, which can fit 12 football fields inside its walls, will serve hundreds of Walgreens stores throughout the Northeast. The center is expected to be 20% more efficient than the company’s previous generation of DCs and has some of the most innovative logistics systems in the distribution industry.
The Windsor location and facility in Anderson, S.C., which opened in 2007, are the models for every future Walgreens DC. It is the company’s goal to fill 10% of its distribution center production jobs with people with disabilities. Walgreens is more than halfway there.
Hallmark sends a sympathy card
The nation’s leading greeting card company on Tuesday said it planned to cut up to 8% of its U.S. work force by laying off between 550 and 750 of its 9,200 full-time employees in the U.S.
The job cuts at the privately held company are expected to take place over the next six months and will involve 200 to 250 jobs at the company’s headquarters in Kansas City, Mo. Other cuts are expected to occur at six manufacturing and distribution facilities where between 350 and 450 jobs will be cut. Hallmark’s sales last year declined 2$ to $4.3 billion.
BJ’s expands payment options
NATICK, Mass. BJ’s Wholesale Club announced it is expanding payment options to its members by accepting government-issued food stamp benefits via Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) payments. BJ’s now accepts EBT payments at all 180 Club locations throughout its 15-state footprint.
“The Food Stamp program makes a difference in the lives of millions of Americans across the country, and the benefits they receive positively impact their abilities to feed their families consistently healthy meals,” said Laura Sen, president and CEO, BJ’s Wholesale Club. “BJ’s recognizes the diverse financial status and changing needs of its members. We are proud to help members stretch their food budgets by offering savings on a large selection of fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and baked goods, along with name-brand, non-perishable staples.”