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Colts-area Wellness Experience stores are difference makers

BY Michael Johnsen

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — As more of Walgreens’ store base is transformed into its Wellness Experience format, the less it becomes an underdog in its hardline stance against Express Scripts. Perhaps that was why the former Indianapolis Colts strategist Tony Dungy — the first NFL coach to record a win against all 32 NFL teams — was on hand to announce the new store openings.

(THE NEWS: Walgreens unveils newly renovated stores in Indianapolis, for the full story click here.)

Dungy’s championship Colts teams were known for implementing what was called a "Cover 2" 4-3 defense that effectively smothered offenses by having a systematic defense for, well, everything. Conversely, Walgreens’ Wellness Experience format is fast becoming a "Cover 2" offense replete with a systematic healthcare offering for, well, everything.

Or maybe Dungy was on hand to help herald the opening of his hometown Walgreens stores because of his philosophy — incidentally a philosophy that can be used to summarize Walgreens’ approach to Express Scripts — "You can’t always control circumstances. However, you can always control your attitude, approach and response. Your options are to complain or to look ahead and figure out how to make the situation better,” (from Dungy’s "Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices, & Priorities of a Winning Life"). It’s become quite clear that Walgreens is looking ahead, and with these new Wellness Experience format stores, with that better-situation solution in hand.

No matter why Dungy was there during the grand openings, these future-leaning stores that have incorporated into them learnings from Walgreens’ two flagship stores in New York and Chicago as dictated by the local consumer/patient need, are helping to redefine pharmacy retailing in much the same way Rite Aid’s innovative Customer World stores did just a few years ago.

There certainly is a lot of strategic thinking, coupled with some splashy technology, showcased in Walgreens’ new Wellness Experience locations, but it’s that emphasis on fostering that patient-practitioner interaction, realizing better health outcomes, helping to reduce hospital visits and taking a chunk out of the healthcare costs of employers and payers that will continue to make Walgreens’ a go-to company for health, beauty and nutrition solutions.

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Bottom Dollar Food announces opening dates for stores in Pittsburgh, Youngstown, Ohio, markets

BY DSN STAFF

SALISBURY, N.C. — Bottom Dollar Food announced grand opening dates for its first 14 stores in the greater Pittsburgh and Youngstown, Ohio, markets, with its first seven stores opening on Jan. 26. Seven additional stores will open on Feb. 9.

In addition to its new stores in Pittsburgh and Youngstown, Ohio, Bottom Dollar Food remains focused on continuing to expand in the greater Philadelphia market, which currently encompasses 24 stores in the state of Pennsylvania and five stores in New Jersey. After the 14 grand openings in January and February, Bottom Dollar Food will operate 43 stores in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Bottom Dollar Food opened its first store in High Point, N.C., on Sept. 21, 2005.

As previously reported, Bottom Dollar Food’s parent company, Delhaize America, announced it will close underperforming stores and convert several stores into Food Lion stores.

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Safeway employees clocked 1 million volunteer hours in 2011

BY Michael Johnsen

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway on Friday announced that employees volunteered more than 1 million hours in 2011 as a result of a companywide effort to mobilize its work force and transform communities.

"The number of hours, along with the stories about employees who unselfishly gave their valuable time, are inspiring and humbling," stated Larree Renda, Safeway EVP and chair of the Safeway Foundation. "Through their generosity, our employees are making a meaningful difference in the communities where they work and live."

While volunteerism has long been part of Safeway’s culture, the company launched a more formal volunteer initiative in 2010, designed to build on efforts already under way and assist those employees who wanted to find the activities and organizations that best suited their interests and talents.

Employees from the company’s retail, distribution, supply and administrative operations routinely participate in fundraisers, cleanup efforts and a broad range of other volunteer activities. Safeway employees are serving as Little League coaches, Scout Masters and food bank volunteers. Others organize neighborhood watch programs and coordinate school fundraisers. Safeway truck drivers have volunteered to transport food and supplies for disaster preparedness organizations. Company lawyers and tax specialists have provided legal assistance to nonprofits and prepared tax filings for senior citizens — all on their own time.

Safeway is a long-time sponsor of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and holds a companywide fundraiser for the organization annually. The campaign concludes with the MDA Labor Day Telethon, when scores of Safeway employees join other volunteers throughout the United States to staff phone banks and process donation pledges.

More recently, Safeway partnered with Rebuilding Together, the nation’s leading nonprofit working to preserve affordable homeownership, to renovate homes and community centers during the month of April. On their own time, Safeway employees in 10 cities refurbished homes, senior centers and community centers, making them more accessible to people with disabilities and performing major and minor repairs.

Through its Volunteer Initiative, Safeway set out to aggregate these existing volunteer efforts and recognize those employees who volunteered a significant amount of their time to various causes. The company also sought to help employees who were looking for volunteer opportunities. Through a partnership with Volunteer Match, an organization that provides businesses with Web-based solutions to facilitate and track volunteer engagement at local and national levels, Safeway employees are able to find volunteer opportunities in their communities that meet their specific interests, talents and availability.

Starting in January 2011, Safeway employees logged each hour they volunteered and by the end of the year they logged their 1 millionth hour. Safeway employees have been challenged to meet or exceed that number by the end of 2012.

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