MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Walmart to expand online price comparison tool

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Walmart plans to expand its online price comparison tool, Savings Catcher, that compares prices on select products with those of some of its competitors to cities nationwide over the next few months, the Associated Press said. The retailer is also adding more products to the tool, which will now be available on Walmart’s mobile app.

The retailer debuted the online feature in seven markets in March. If the customer using the tool finds a lower price elsewhere, the chain will refund the difference to shoppers in the form of an online Walmart gift card.

"This is what Wal-Mart should be doing — throwing down the gauntlet once and for all that they will not be beat on price." said Cameron Smith, who heads up a leading recruiting firm called Cameron Smith & Associates that hires executives for suppliers of Wal-Mart, in the AP report.

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News

Veteran pharma exec Michael Cantrell heads to Shopko

BY CSA STAFF

Shopko has tapped veteran pharmacy executive Michael Cantrell as the company’s new SVP of retail health. Cantrell will report to CEO Peter McMahon.

A registered pharmacist and licensed attorney, Cantrell is joining Shopko from Delhaize America, where he was VP of pharmacy. Prior to Delhaize America, he held various executive positions at AmerisourceBergen and Longs Drugs.

“Mike brings high-level pharmacy experience, a proven track record of success and a fresh perspective to Shopko’s pharmacies, optical departments and Rx Care areas,” said McMahon. “His unique combination of legal and pharmacy experience will make him an invaluable resource as we look to strengthen and expand the health and wellness services provided to our customers.”

Previously, Cantrell was group VP of managed networks at AmerisourceBergen Corporation where he was named president of the company’s Good Neighbor Pharmacy Network. Cantrell also served as VP of professional services and chief privacy official for Longs Drug Stores, where he was named to the board of RxAmerica, the chain’s wholly owned pharmacy benefit manager.

Cantrell has a BA degree in chemistry from the University of Northern Colorado, a B.S. degree in pharmacy from the University of Utah, and a J.D. degree from the former Peninsula University. He is a registered pharmacist and is a current member of the State Bar of California.

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REAL ESTATE

Five Below to enter Houston with eight stores

BY Marianne Wilson

Houston — Extreme-value teen retailer Five Below will make its Houston debut on June 6, opening eight stores in and around the city.

The company currently has 15 stores in the Dallas and Austin markets. Last year, the Philadelphia-based retailer opened 60 new stores, and has plans to open approximately 60 stores this year. With the Houston openings, there will be 338 Five Below stores in 20 states throughout the country.

"We all know that you have to go big in Texas, and that’s what we’re doing by opening eight new stores in one day in Houston," said Thomas Vellios, CEO and co-founder of Five Below. “We’ve had tremendous success in our other Texas stores, and we expect Houston to get hooked on Five Below, as well."

Founded in 2002, Five Below has expanded rapidly over the past few years. In March, the company entered Nashville with three new stores and followed it up with two additional stores in Tennessee.

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