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Daily Diversion: Magic with Malala

BY DSN STAFF

Malal Yousafzai is pretty accomplished for an 18-year-old. Yousafzai, who is from Pakistan, is the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate — an honor she received at 16 years old after she continued to push for women’s education in her home country and around the world, even after being targeted and shot by the Taliban in 2012 for doing so. In 2013 she published her book, “I Am Malala” and there is a forthcoming documentary about her life called “He Named Me Malala.” 

As it happens, Yousafzai si also a pretty good magician. She performed a card trick for Stephen Colber When plugging her movie on “The Late Show,” the video of which is embedded above. 

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Walgreens ahead of the curve on new chip-and-PIN payment tech

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. – Credit cards with “EMV chips” are now being accepted at all of the more than 8,200 Walgreens retail stores nationwide, ahead of the Oct. 1 deadline for retailers to begin accepting the new cards, Walgreens announced Tuesday.  
 
Most financial institutions and card issuers are sending their customers chip cards that require signatures for verification, rather than PINs.  While both types of cards improve security, PINs protect against forged signatures and are more secure. 
 
Instead of swiping the magnetic strip, the card is inserted in a slot at the terminal during the payment process and left there until a screen prompt tells you what to do next.
 
Most major retailers, including Walgreens, will be equipped to accept PINs or signatures and are urging card issuers to offer customers chip-and-PIN technology.
 
Walgreens has been ahead of the curve on this for some time, as Alex Gourlay, EVP Waglreens Boots Alliance and president of Walgreens, supported chip-and-PIN technology as part of a White House cybersecurity summit panel in February. "We're all paying for what's happening as bad actors come in and basically take goods and services and money from us individually and collectively," Gourlay said. "So as you reduce fraud, again I'll go back to the example in Europe where fraud has been reduced by something like 40% since the adoption of Chip and PIN, it means that the consumers pay less and the banks pay less as well in terms of interchange fees to the merchants." 
 
Walgreens began transitioning stores to the new technology more than three years ago when it installed new point-of-sale terminals.  The company was able to complete its preparation for chip cards this year with the retail and financial industries’ adoption of standards for chip card acceptance.  The upgrade involved approximately 60,000 point-of-sale terminals in 8,200 stores.
 
Even after the transition to chip cards, Walgreens stores will continue to accept older magnetic strip swipe cards as well as chip-and-pin and chip-and-signature cards.
 
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Sam’s Club execs discuss their playbook at Elevation Forum

BY DSN STAFF

Sam’s Club SVP health and wellness Jill Turner-Mitchael at Drug Store News’ 2014 Industry Issues Summit. 

Bentonville Ark. — “Are you comfortable being uncomfortable?  None of us like being unbalanced, but that tension is where creativity lies and many of our best ideas are birthed. And if we try to eliminate uncertainty, often times that is the precursor to a fall.” That was the opening idea shared by Elevation Forum founder and Mack Elevation Forum leader Dan Mack. “Being comfortable is code for not pressing into new ideas and pushing the boundaries of your business. The goal is to learn to enjoy the feeling of being uncomfortable with status quo thinking and status quo growth.” That was one of twenty five unique characteristics of today’s growth organizations discussed during the elevation forum moderated by Mack.

On Sept. 22 the forum group and keynote speakers, Jill Turner-Mitchael, Senior Vice President, Sam's Club Health and Wellness and Trent Weller Vice President & DMM Health and Beauty also laid out their current growth strategies including Sam’s strategic agenda, new member services, targeted membership goals, their four core business segments, how to optimize member insights, omni-channel philosophies and ideas for creating meaningful differentiation.

Turner-Mitchael shared, “It is the job of merchants to say ‘no’ more than they say ‘yes’. This statement is driven by the unique shopping experience we offer members based on our business model.   There’s no such thing as an average club; one size does not fit all.  We need to make sure that we are not trying to achieve an average, but rather putting the right items in the right clubs – driving the best results.”  

The second part of the forum focused the special cultures that create distinct brands.  Mack shared, “Perfection is not a quest for the best. It is a pursuit of the worst in ourselves; the part that tells us that nothing we do will ever be good enough. Perfection kills curiosity. Imagination and mistakes actually spur momentum, not perfectionism.” The group brainstormed twenty one attributes of companies that build distinct brands and organizations.  

The winners embrace diverse ideas, people, cultures and points of view.  They learn to authentically celebrate diversity on all levels and these organizations go deeper with the most valuable customers, ensuring the whole team is aligned to their top customer’s agenda. Ironically, these companies practice and encourage risk taking and decisive decision making. Furthermore, they get to the blind spots, threats & risks buried in your organization, while not being afraid of “others” uncovering their warts.

The thing I appreciate the most of these companies, shared Mack is that “they ask bigger questions positioning them to think and act very differently than their nearest competitors.”

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