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Food Lion’s CIAA basketball sponsorship nets 24,000 meals

BY Michael Johnsen

For the past 24 years, Food Lion has served as the exclusive food and retail sponsor of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association basketball tournament as well as the title sponsor of the women’s tournament, which were both held ealier this month at the Spectrum Arena in Charlotte, N.C.

“We are always excited about our partnership with the CIAA because in addition to athletics this week-long event recognizes and celebrates education, wellness, community service and diversity and inclusion,” Benny Smith, manager of media and community relations, Food Lion, said. “We were honored to support CIAA students, fans and customers through scholarships and sponsored activities.”

The 2018 tournament also showcased Food Lion’s media savvy with a record-breaking 2.9 million social, broadcast and print media impressions, including a 200% increase in coverage of the #BallinOnHunger campaign. As part of the campaign, Food Lion restocked on-campus pantries of CIAA colleges and universities and – thanks to the success of #BallinOnHunger – will donate 24,000 meals to local food banks in the 12 communities surrounding CIAA schools.

Further, Food Lion, a division of Ahold Delhaize, has donated more than $4.5 million toward CIAA scholarships since 2003 and additionally employs many CIAA students and alumni through its Retail Management Trainee Program.

“Our work with the CIAA is an important part of our community outreach every year,” Smith said. “It’s a great relationship.”

 

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Walgreens educates Dallas teens through #ItEndsWithUs campaign

BY Michael Johnsen

Walgreens on Tuesday announced its #ItEndsWithUs campaign is coming to Dallas to educate local teens on the opioid epidemic.

As part of We Day Texas at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, thousands of local students will hear real stories of addiction and how Walgreens is taking action to combat the nation’s opioid epidemic. The #ItEndsWithUs campaign objective is to provide teens with resources and positive steps they can take in their community, which are all available at Walgreens’ #ItEndsWithUs hub.

The campaign will feature actor Brandon Larracuente from the Netflix popular series “13 Reasons Why” and “Bloodline.” Larracuente, who lost a close friend to opioid addiction, will speak via video message to introduce to a local Texan, Adelle Buede, who overcame her addiction and is now working with Walgreens to raise awareness.

“I’m proud to work with Walgreens to raise awareness and educate teens on opioid misuse and abuse,” said Adelle Buede, Addiction Campuses Treatment Specialist. “Through their #ItEndsWithUs campaign, teens can find tools and resources to take action in their community. Together, with Walgreens, we can take the first step to end the opioid epidemic.”

Buede will speak about Walgreens safe medication disposal program that began in 2016. Safe medication disposal kiosks allow individuals to safely and conveniently dispose of their unwanted, unused or expired prescriptions, including controlled substances and over-the-counter medications, year-round at no cost. Kiosks are available in more than 50 Walgreens pharmacies in Texas during regular pharmacy hours and offer one of the best ways to ensure medications are not accidentally used or intentionally misused by someone else. Most people who misuse prescription drugs first obtain them from a family member or friend, often from a home medicine cabinet.

Walgreens will continue to raise awareness around the opioid epidemic at upcoming WE Day events in 2018, with the help of Larracuente engaging teens across the country.

As part of its comprehensive national plan to combat drug abuse, Walgreens has made naloxone, a lifesaving opioid antidote, available without a prescription in all of its 700 pharmacies in Texas, in accordance with state pharmacy regulations. Naloxone can be used in the event of an overdose to reverse the effects of heroin or other opioid drugs, and is administered by injection or nasal spray.

Walgreens has also installed safe medication disposal kiosks in 600 of its pharmacies across 45 states and is in the process of expanding its program to an additional 900 Walgreens drugstores across the country. When the expansion is complete, safe medication disposal kiosks will be available in 1,500 Walgreens locations nationwide.

Following WE Day Texas, Walgreens will continue to create awareness on the opioid epidemic at WE Days in Los Angeles on April 19, 2018; Chicago on April 25, 2018; and Seattle on May 3, 2018. These new markets follow the campaign’s launch at WE Day UN at Madison Square Garden in September 2017.

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Report: Consumers want to be left alone when shopping

BY Marianne Wilson

Shoppers are increasingly looking to in-store technology for customer service versus personal assistance from store associates.

That’s according to a survey by strategic retail advisory firm HRC Retail Advisory, which found that many shoppers are moving away from hands-on, personalized service from store associates, and instead of turning to their friends and family via social media to share pictures and gather opinions before they buy, particularly in apparel.

The survey revealed that 95% of consumers want to be left alone while shopping — unless they specifically need a store associate’s help. Approximately 85% want to be able to check prices at price scanners throughout a store rather than ask a sales associate for pricing information.

“As consumers begin favoring in-store technology over sales associates while they shop, retailers must adapt to shopper expectations in the store environment,” said Farla Efros, president of HRC Retail Advisory. “Identifying the right technologies and pairing it with the right in-store experience for shoppers of different generations will be critical to retailers’ long-term success. Those that curate and customize the store experience and services to suit shoppers’ needs will see the benefits.”

In-store environment ranked as the most important factor while shopping (53%). Other factors that shoppers deem as valuable when shopping in-store are receiving promotional and sales information that is sent directly to their smartphone (34%), and mobile point of sale (30%). Free in-store Wi-Fi was ranked as important by 30% of respondents overall, and the rate was higher among younger generations,

About 29% of overall respondents ranked in-store apps that would provide personal recommendations as an important store feature, versus only 17% who ranked sales associates that would help you choose as important. Being able to reserve apparel online, and try it on in-store before purchasing was ranked as important for 42% of Millennials, and 38% for Generation Z.

The survey found that consumers are not all that enthusiastic about several of the popular technology innovations and in-store experiences that many retailers are offering:

  • Dressing Room Tech. Technology in apparel-store dressing rooms that assists with shopping was deemed important by only 17% of those surveyed. And only 6% of respondents ranked customized lighting in dressing rooms as important when shopping for apparel and shoes.
  • Mobile Payments. Mobile payments ranked only slightly higher, with about 8% of those polled saying that having the option to pay via a mobile app was important to them.
  • In-Store Events. Only 19% of overall respondents said that retailers’ special events designed to create communities were an important part of a store’s offering, particularly when shopping for apparel and beauty products. Events may grow in importance in years to come, however, as a slightly higher 24% of Generation Z listed them as an important store feature.

In other survey highlights:

  • Sixty-nine percent of shoppers said that being able to order a technology product online and then pick it up in store is important (likely where they can see it and test it before buying), with a similar 65% saying it is important for apparel, according to the survey.
  • While the need for store associates is diminishing overall, nearly 52% of all respondents said that an in-store personal shopper who helps them choose products is important when shopping for technology items. However, most respondents still preferred technology over personal service, as a much higher 76% of overall respondents rated an in-store app that will provide personal recommendations as important.

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