News

Walmart, Walgreens fill public-exchange prescriptions at no upfront cost

BY Dan Berthiaume

Bentonville, Ark. — Through the end of January 2014, customers at Walmart and Walgreens who have signed up for public health exchanges but have not yet received their plan identification information from their insurance providers will be able to fill up to a 30-day supply of prescriptions with no upfront cost.

"At Walmart, we are committed to offering our customers affordable ways to stay healthy, including access to their medications,” said John Agwunobi, senior VP and president, health & wellness, Walmart U.S. "Our pharmacists will also provide assistance in verifying enrollment and will be available to help answer questions about the new insurance plans."

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Staples to change logo, tagline

BY Dan Berthiaume

Framingham, Mass. — Staples is changing its logo by removing the bent staple that forms the “L” in “Staples.” Initially, Staples is excluding the bent staple in its logo in a number of places, including its e-commerce site and the company’s social channels such as Twitter, Facebook, and the easyBlog.

Social fans and followers can join the "What the L is going on at Staples?" conversation by using the hash tag #WhatTheL. On Jan.9, Staples will swap out the bent staple in the logo with a range of products beyond office supplies, from cleaning products to technology to breakroom snacks. The company is also launching a new tagline, “Make more happen.”

"Make more happen highlights how Staples is reinventing itself to provide every product businesses need to succeed," said Shira Goodman, executive VP of global growth at Staples. “We’re adding thousands of new products every day. Our expanded product assortment appeals to businesses across a wide range of industries, from medical and restaurants to professional services and retail."

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News

Whole Foods Market expands loan program to $25 million

BY Dan Berthiaume

Austin, Texas — Whole Foods Market’s Local Producer Loan Program has reached the initial goal of funding $10 million in low-interest loans to local and independent food businesses, and has now committed up to $25 million in funding. The Local Producer Loan Program (LPLP) has provided 184 loans to 155 companies since its inception in 2007.

Loan recipients must meet Whole Foods Market’s quality standards, use the funds for expansion and have a viable business plan. Typical loans range from $1,000 to $100,000 and have fixed low-interest rates. Previous loan recipients have used their loans for purchasing more livestock, investing in new equipment, expanding production facilities, adapting to more sustainable practices or converting to organic production.

“Expanding the Local Producer Loan Program is a direct result of the innovations and successes of our loan recipients,” said Betsy Foster, Whole Foods Market global VP of growth and business development. “By playing a role in advancing new ideas, growing businesses and realizing dreams, Whole Foods Market stays connected with both our neighborhood producers and our global food community.”

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