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Walgreens to open more Sprint Express locations

BY Drug Store News staff

Walgreens and Sprint are expanding their joint partnership.

The companies announced that they will be opening an additional 80 locations of Sprint Express at Walgreens stores, within the Chicago and Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan areas.

“Our customers who have visited the existing Sprint Express test locations in Gainesville, Florida, and in the Chicagoland area, are telling us that they really like the convenience of being able to meet their mobile phone needs, while shopping at Walgreens,” Richard Ashworth, Walgreens president of operations, said. “We’re pleased to expand our collaboration, and moving forward, together with Sprint, we are exploring other mobile wireless initiatives as we collectively focus on enhancing what Walgreens customers want in this new digital world.”

The Spring Express in-store shops offer a variety of wireless services to customers. These include advice on mobile services and products, including accessories; support, access and education on the Walgreens app; and wireless services available to anyone via a curated postpaid and prepaid service options through Assurance Wireless, a federal government supported assistance program.

“Walgreens and Sprint have an exceptional relationship,” Dow Draper, Sprint’s chief commercial officer, said. “By expanding our Sprint Express locations we’re increasing Sprint’s presence in locations that are often a daily destination for consumers. This makes it easy and convenient for them to interact with us.

In addition, Sprint also is introducing exclusive wireless saving for Walgreens’ 250,000 employees and their families. Additional details on specific store locations and product service offerings are to be announced at a later date, the companies said.

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The 20 brands that consumers are most loyal to are…

BY Marianne Wilson

When it comes to brand loyalty, tech brands lead the pack.

Nine of the top 10 brands in the 22nd annual Brand Keys 2018 Top 100 Loyalty Leaders ranking are digital brands, with Amazon taking the No. 1 spot. The only traditional retail brands to make the top 20 are Trader Joe’s, at No. 10, and Nike, at No. 18. Two fast-casual brands also cracked the Top 20 — Domino’s Pizza, No.12, and Dunkin’ Donuts, No.19 (See end of article for a list of the top 20 companies).

The ranking is based on a survey by brand consultancy Brand Keys of 84 product categories and 761 brands. The survey included more than 50,500 consumers ages 18 to 65. Respondents self-selected the categories in which they are consumers and assessed the brands for which they are customers.

But while digital and tech brands dominated the top rankings, non-digital brands moved up the list, an average of 11 positions, with a few making major leaps.

“That’s an incredible accomplishment in today’s marketplace where consumers are hot-wired to the Internet,” said Robert Passikoff, founder and president. Brand Keys. “Traditional brands have worked harder to create the emotional value connections necessary to bolster the loyalty bonds necessary for keeping current customers, developing new ones, and making profits.”

The retail brands that showed the greatest loyalty leadership gains in 2018 were T.J. Maxx (+38 to No. 35, currently with net sales up 12%) and Zara (+32 to No. 57, with same-store sales +2%).

2018 Top 20 Brand Keys Loyalty Leaders
(Numbers in parentheses indicate last year’s loyalty ranking)

1. Amazon: online retail (No. 1)
2. Google: search engines (No. 2)
3. Apple: smartphones (No. 5)
4. Netflix: video streaming (No. 4)
5. Amazon: video streaming (No. 6)
6. Samsung: smartphones (No. 7)
7. Apple: tablets (No. 3)
8. Facebook: social networking (No. 8)
9. Amazon: tablets (No. 9)
10. Trader Joe’s: natural foods (No. 13)
11. WhatsApp: instant messaging (No. 14)
12. Domino’s Pizza (No. 20)
13. YouTube: social networking (No. 10)
14. Hyundai: automotive (No. 16)
15. Ford: automotive (No. 18)
16. Instagram: social networking (No. 21)
17. iTunes: video streaming (No. 15)
18. Nike: athletic footwear (No. 12)
19. Dunkin’ Donuts: coffee (No. 11)
20. Apple: computers (No. 22)

For the complete 2018 Top 100 Loyalty Leaders List, click here.

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Walmart-owned brand gets more inclusive

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Bonobos has made a move that could expand its customer base.

The Walmart-owned upscale menswear brand launched an extended-sizing line that fits men up to size 54 and 4XL. The pieces feature details such as larger buttons and pockets for better proportions, as well as better-fitting collars and two-piece sleeves, according to the website.

The line includes t-shirts, button-down shirts, blazers, and pants that feature taller waistbands, extra belt loops, and hidden stretch fabrics, among other details. Walmart acquired Bonobos in June 2017 for $310 million in cash.

Brad Andrews, Bonobos’ co-president and chief merchandising officer, told Business Insider that the line looks beyond “body coverage,” and instead focuses on fit. While this line targets customers who are proportionally bigger, he added that Bonobos plans to add fits for men who are more triangle-shaped and upside-down-triangle-shaped.

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