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Ahold appoints Jan van Dam as EVP supply chain and e-commerce

BY Alaric DeArment

CARLISLE, Pa. — Ahold has appointed the former head of one of its European supermarket chains to an executive position in its U.S. division.

Ahold USA said it appointed Jan van Dam as EVP supply chain and e-commerce, in which he will focus on supply chain for the company’s four U.S. divisions, Stop & Shop in the New York area and New England, Giant-Landover and Giant-Carlisle. He will also be responsible for the company’s e-commerce business with Andrew Parkinson, president and general manager of online grocery company Peapod, reporting to him.

Van Dam has worked for Ahold for 17 years, previously serving as president and CEO of Albert/Hypernova, a supermarket chain operating in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Before that, he was general manager of Dutch retail pharmacy chain Etos and also served in a number of leadership positions at the Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn.

"Jan will add valuable retail expertise to Ahold USA’s leadership team," Ahold USA COO James McCann said. "Jan’s responsibility over the e-commerce side of our business will also enable us to accelerate its expansion and maximize supply chain synergies across Ahold USA and Peapod."


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Cardinal quarterly revenue down 7%, earnings-per-share up 15%

BY Michael Johnsen

DUBLIN, Ohio — Cardinal Health on Tuesday posted $25.2 billion in revenue for its 2013 second quarter, down 7%. The company’s non-GAAP diluted earnings per share was up 15% to $0.93. 

"We’ve now completed a strong first half to our fiscal 2013 with a good second-quarter performance. While continued brand-to-generic conversions and the previously announced movement of the Express Scripts contract drove a revenue decline in the pharmaceutical segment, excellent performance from our generic programs and new customer wins fueled profit gains," stated George Barrett, chairman and CEO Cardinal Health. 

Revenue for the pharmaceutical segment decreased 8% to $22.7 billion due to the previously announced non-renewal of the Express Scripts contract as well as expected conversions from branded pharmaceuticals to lower-priced generics. The decline was partially offset by revenues from new pharmaceutical distribution customers. Segment profit increased 12% to $441 million, largely from overall strong performance from generics programs and benefits of customer and product mix within pharmaceutical distribution, partially offset by the impact of continued market softness in our nuclear business.

In addition, the company tightened its fiscal 2013 outlook for non-GAAP diluted EPS from continuing operations to $3.42 to $3.50, which represents the top half of the prior guidance range.


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Duane Reade isn’t playing around with participation in virtual gaming experience

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Duane Reade on Tuesday announced the Niantic Labs new mobile game Ingress would be integrated across the chain’s more than 250 locations in an effort to increase ‘share of voice’ and customer engagement. Duane Reade, part of the Walgreens family of companies, is one of the first retail partners in the New York Metropolitan area for "Ingress", which blends the physical and virtual world to create a one-of-a-kind gaming experience, Duane Reade stated. 

"Customer engagement strategy via location-based gaming has elevated to new levels and Duane Reade understands that," stated Calvin Peters, PR/online manager for Duane Reade. "Strategically engaging gamification experiences that utilize LBS platforms are becoming increasingly relevant as mobile concentration within the retail space continues to expand. It’s important for us to be where our consumers are, including the virtual world."

An Ingress logo is located on the front window of Duane Reade stores around the city signaling players of the company’s participation and the existence of a value-added game asset located inside the store. Each asset will display its own unique code, which gives players a range of resources for playing the game including energy, offensive and defensive game objects (resonators, weapons, shields) and possibly media objects. Each code may be used only once, but can be shared with each player’s online community. As the game evolves, cooperation across neighborhoods, cities, and countries will be needed to achieve the ultimate victory for either faction.

The game’s premise involves a team of scientists in Europe that have unearthed a mysterious energy called Exotic Matter which is believed to be influencing the way humans think. Players in the game will choose a side, either "The Enlightened" seeking to embrace the power that this energy may bestow or "The Resistance" working to defend and protect against that same power. Once they have picked a side, players will have to move through the real world around them to discover and tap into sources of this energy. They will be able to acquire objects to aid in their quest, deploy technology to capture territory, and ally with other players to advance the cause of their faction.

A global collaborative effort, "Ingress" players can interact with other players around the world, plan their next steps and communicate via an Intelligence map. An Investigation Board filled with cryptic clues and secret codes await each player as the story evolves daily with secrets and game elements ready to be unlocked. 


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