News

Wawa expands APT relationship to optimize merchandising strategy

BY Staff Writer

New York — Convenience-store operator Wawa will license Applied Predictive Technologies’ (APT) merchandise optimization software, adding to Wawa’s current long term licenses for APT’s Test & Learn management system and Market Basket Analyzer. Wawa will leverage the merchandise optimization solution to maximize profitability of space and merchandise assortment plans, assess the impact of each merchandising change, and fine-tune merchandising strategy across more than 600 locations.

“Licensing APT’s Merchandise Optimization has enabled us to drive significant margin increases by reallocating our space in numerous categories, and to rapidly transition from analysis into implementation,” said David Prevost, director of space planning & merchandising at Wawa. “By rolling out the optimal merchandising strategy on a store-by-store basis, we are able to capture significant additional value across our network.”

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OPERATIONS

Target cutting 475 positions, eliminating 700 open ones

BY Staff Writer

New York — Target Corp. is cutting 475 positions globally, and also will not fill 700 positions that are open worldwide.

“We believe these decisions, while difficult, are the right actions as we continue to focus on transforming our business,” Molly Snyder, a Target spokeswoman, said in an e-mailed statement, as reported by Reuters. “We will continue to invest in key business areas to strengthen our ability to compete and thrive well into the future.”

No specific details were given on the job cuts.

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News

CVS’s digital strategy pays off

BY CSA STAFF

Mobile is changing the way in which customers manage their drug store needs whether it be filling a prescription, accessing health resources or buying products, and CVS is aiming to take the lead in today’s digital space with a slew of innovative offerings that are yielding some significant results.

“As a pharmacy innovation company, we are committed to empowering our customers on their path to better health and have put in place an integrated digital strategy to help us serve those customers even better, across all channels and touch points. Delivering a superior mobile experience for CVS is a key part of that strategy, since we know our customers are digitally savvy,” said Brian Tilzer, SVP and chief digital officer, CVS Caremark.

In the last year, traffic on the CVS mobile site and app increased 250%, as consumers increasingly embrace digital and the company continues to enhance its mobile suite to serve as an extension to its bricks-and-mortar stores.

“Our own data shows steady increases in the number of customers turning to digital tools. Traffic to CVS.com increased 75% from 2012 to 2013,” added Tilzer. “Last year, there were more than a million customers each month that visited CVS.com from a tablet, and that number continues to grow, particularly on mobile devices and tablets. In fact, we saw a large number of our customers transition to mobile this past year; the proportion of our overall traffic originating from mobile devices jumped from 30% in 2012 to more than 50% in 2013.”

Clearly, the increase demonstrates how customers have come to use mobile as an effective way to manage their pharmacy retail needs whether it be filling prescriptions (37% of digital refills are mobile), accessing health resources or performing shopping-related tasks such as buying products and managing their ExtraCare coupons and rewards.

Throughout 2013, the pharmacy retailer worked to enhance and expand its mobile and digital offerings. Among its newest introductions, noted by Tilzer:

  • The new Family Vitamin Center. This new health hub on CVS.com is designed to help take the confusion out of the vitamin aisle and features an interactive questionnaire and guidance tools that provide personalized supplement recommendations identifying which options are best suited to address personal wellness goals or health conditions.
  • A Drug Information Center designed to empower users by offering detailed information on prescription and non-prescription medications, vitamins and supplements.
  • An iPad app designed as a 3-D rendering of the store for intuitive navigation. It has such pharmacy features as voice-activated prescription management and an ExtraCare section that lets shoppers browse available coupons and rewards and digitally send them to their ExtraCare cards with the swipe of a finger.
  • A mobile Drug Interaction Checker that was integrated into its mobile retail app. With the app, customers can manage, refill and view prescriptions, redeem savings and rewards, shop, upload photos and more.

Looking ahead, the pharmacy retailer will continue to focus on its digital strategy to deliver a differentiated customer experience.

“In 2014, mobile remains an important part of our digital strategy and we will continue to focus heavily on retail and pharmacy capabilities as well as integration across the enterprise, making it easier for our customers to engage with at any moment and most importantly to help our shoppers lead healthier lives,” Tilzer said.

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