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Albertsons to shutter 26 locations

BY Antoinette Alexander

BOISE, Idaho — Albertsons has confirmed that it plans to shutter 26 locations.

“This is part of our typical review cycle, and after reviewing store performance, we determined that these stores could not be positioned for future profitability, with the exception of the two stores in Acme that were closed for underperformance. The two Acme stores were closed because the leases are expiring,” the company said in a statement sent to Drug Store News.

The closures include 22 locations that are part of Albertson’s LLC, as well as two Acme and two Shaw’s locations that are part of New Albertsons Inc. Albertsons LLC and New Albertsons Inc. are part of AB Acquisition.

 

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CVS Caremark completes acquisition of Coram

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark has completed the acquisition of Coram, the specialty infusion services and enteral nutrition business unit of Apria Healthcare Group.

Coram is one of the nation’s largest providers of infusion services, caring for approximately 165,000 patients annually. Coram has 4,600 employees, including 600 nurses, 350 pharmacists and 250 dietitians, operating primarily through 85 branch locations and six centers of excellence for patient intake.

"With the acquisition of Coram, we have expanded our competitive offerings in specialty services," Jon Roberts, president of CVS Caremark Pharmacy Services, said. "From a capabilities perspective, no other organization brings the range of specialty assets, the depth of experience and integration of care that the combination of CVS Caremark and Coram can deliver."

With Coram, CVS Caremark will have resources to more effectively manage the cost of specialty drugs, including infused therapies, whether they are covered through the medical or the pharmacy benefit. According to CVS Caremark, for patients this means better clinical outcomes, while payors will see lower total health care costs.

Coram is expected to generate approximately $1.4 billion in revenues during the first 12 months following the close of the deal. Including one-time transaction and integration costs, as well as the interest associated with the $2 billion of senior notes issued to fund this transaction, the transaction is expected to have an immaterial impact on CVS Caremark’s overall financial results in 2014. The transaction is expected to add 3 cents to 5 cents to the company’s adjusted earnings per share in 2015, the first full year following the close of the deal.

 

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Sears and Kmart implement Pikato platform, mobile redemption rates soar

BY Antoinette Alexander

TAMPA, Fla. — Pikato announced on Thursday the launch of its retail mobile marketing solution, which personalizes the customer shopping experience to increase consumer engagement and deliver measurable results. Sears and Kmart are the first companies to engage with the Pikato platform and have already seen mobile engagement rates soar 1,100%, according to Pikato.

Pikato allows its customers to launch a turnkey mobile branded campaign in less than one hour with minimal internal company resources needed. The platform gathers real-time customer feedback combined with hyperlocal and transactional data to determine the best offers and messages to be delivered.

Examples of Sears and Kmart mobile marketing experience include:

  • Members and guests can access the mobile experience in multiple channels including mweb, mobile apps, Android and iOS, in-store WiFi, SMS and iBeacons;
  • Members and guests can enter the experience and select their preference to start personalizing their shopping experience;
  • A list of personalized and targeted coupons are displayed directly on the users’ mobile device;
  • All coupon details are displayed including the barcode and disclaimers. Members and guests can start interacting with the offers by liking or disliking, sharing in social media with friends and family, loading them to Passbook and create “geofences” or redeeming online or in-store. All the actions taken by the user are leveraged by Pikato’s collective intelligence models to personalize the offers and content; and
  • With the Sears and Kmart rewards “Shop Your Way” program, members can access the experience with their phone or email address for coupons and discounts. Plus, they have the ability to load offers to their account, so coupons are clipless as all coupons are associated to the member ID. Guests also can clip their coupons in their smartphones.

“Not only was Pikato able to quickly deliver personalized recommendations across multiple mobile touch points, but we also have seen a significant increase in redemption rates of our mobile coupons by leveraging Pikato’s Intelligence platform," stated Bill Kiss, chief digital officer at Sears Holdings Corp.

“Campaigns running on the Pikato platform are designed to allow companies to deliver personalized and targeted mobile offers and content directly to their customers,” stated Jesus Sanchez, CEO of Pikato. “Pikato provides the easiest and cost-effective way of increasing redemption and mobile engagement. Sears and Kmart, with over 2,400 locations, have already seen the tremendous benefits of partnering with Pikato, and we know that other companies can potentially see similar, or even greater, results.”

Pikato mobile interactions also are designed for customers’ locations to be enabled for proximity-based notifications and strategies based in geo-location or iBeacons. Customers engage with the location-based experiences without manual check-in and not only can Pikato arbitrate and score offers, it can also manage contact policies. In-store engagements are enabled through QR and barcode scanning of products and signage and can be used to create games and interactions while inside the store bringing together physical and digital marketing vehicles.

 

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