MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Walgreens to make a big move

BY Antoinette Alexander

Walgreens plans to relocate about 1,300 employees from its suburban headquarters to a new office in Chicago.

Walgreens announced plans to open a new office in fall 2019, in the city of Chicago. The new space will include approximately 200,000 sq. ft. in The Old Post Office building. Over time, approximately 1,800 people are expected to work in the office, including about 1,300 employees that will relocate from Walgreens’ headquarters in Deerfield, Ill. It will be the largest number of corporate employees Walgreens has ever had based in Chicago.

Walgreens Boots Alliance will remain headquartered in Deerfield, Ill., where approximately 3,200 employees are expected to continue to work, the company stated.

“Investing in our infrastructure and building our digital and technical capabilities are essential elements of our business transformation strategy, as we work to improve access for our customers and enhance the customer experience. The space in the iconic Old Post Office building allows us to attract and retain the best talent from all of Chicagoland,” said Alex Gourlay, president of Walgreens.

When renovations are complete, the new office space in The Old Post Office building will serve as an additional office location for Walgreens. Digital and IT operations employees supporting the Walgreens business, as well as some Walgreens Boots Alliance global IT personnel, will be located in the new office space.

The space expands the company’s Technology Center of Excellence launched last year that further combines the company’s retail pharmacy technology teams with digital, mobile and e-commerce teams who currently work in the city. As part of the new space, Walgreens will relocate its digital office currently in the Sullivan Center, located at 36 S. Wabash Ave., to The Old Post Office building.

“Walgreens was born in Chicago with one small pharmacy on the South Side, and their big new presence in one of our city’s most iconic locations is a great way to look to the future,” said Emanuel. “This is a smart decision by an innovative company, it will contribute to our city’s thriving tech sector, and we are looking forward to cutting the ribbon and welcoming 1,800 members of the Walgreens team to Chicago.”

Walgreens currently employs nearly 4,500 people in the city of Chicago, where it also operates 120 drug stores.

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The best department store in the world is…

BY Marianne Wilson

For the fourth time, a U.K. department store that is over 100 years old has taken home top honors at the Global Department Store Summit in London.

Selfridges was named the Best Department Store in the World at the event, which is sponsored by the Intercontinental Group of Department Stores. The two other finalists were France’s Printemps and Italy’s Rinascente.

Founded in 1909 by American businessman H. Gordon Selfridge, Selfridges is known for its innovation and creativity, reflected in everything from its eye-popping visual merchandising and displays to its inventive in-store partnerships and collaborations.

The upscale retailer is also a savvy marketer. Most recently, it released a 60-second short film, “Radical Luxury,” in movie theaters across the U.K. It promotes Selfridge’s in-store “Radical Luxury” campaign, which questions the meaning and concept of luxury in today’s world and includes billboards and digital elements.

The criteria for the IGDS award include successful developments and executions of product, store, online and service innovation strategies; delivery of an outstanding in-store experience; excellent customer service, and strong financial performance.

IGDS is the largest worldwide association of department stores and has 42 members from 38 countries on five continents.

 

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NRF: Mother’s Day spending outlook is strong; here’s how it breaks down

BY Marianne Wilson

Mother’s Day spending is expected to decline slightly this year, but will still remain near record levels.

Spending should hit a near-record $23.1 billion this year, according to the annual survey by the NRF and Prosper Insights & Analytics. A total of 86% of Americans will celebrate Mother’s Day and spend an average of $180 per person, the survey revealed.

The expected spending would be second only to last year’s $23.6 billion, the highest in the 15-year history of the survey at an average $186 per person.

According to the 2018 survey, consumers plan to spend $4.6 billion on jewelry (purchased by 34% of shoppers), $4.4 billion on special outings such as dinner or brunch (55%) and $2.6 billion on flowers (69%).

In addition, $2.5 billion will be spent on gift cards (45%), $2.1 billion on clothing (36%), $2.1 billion on consumer electronics (14%) and $1.8 billion on personal services such as a spa day (24%).

Another $956 million will be spent on housewares or gardening tools, $813 million on greeting cards and $494 million on books or music.

When searching for gifts, 35% of consumers will head to department stores and 31% will shop online, while 29% plan to shop at specialty stores such as florists, jewelers or electronics stores. Meanwhile, 23% plan to shop at a local small business, 22% at discount stores and 10% at specialty clothing stores.

“Mother’s Day continues to be a holiday close to the heart of many Americans and this year is no different,” Prosper Insights executive VP of strategy Phil Rist said. “Those between 35 and 44 years old are planning to spend the most this season, while younger consumers are the most likely to put their online shopping skills to good use to find inspiration for the perfect gift for mom.”

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