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Fresh & Easy brings back Shop for Schools fundraising program

BY Allison Cerra

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. A popular grocer in the western U.S. is bringing back a popular incentive program designed to benefit local schools.

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market announced Thursday its Shop for Schools fundraising program allows registered schools will be eligible to receive a $1 cash donation for every $20 spent at a local Fresh & Easy store. At the end of the program, Fresh & Easy will award the top fundraising school in each state with a $5,000 bonus.

From customer feedback, the company has enhanced the program by increasing the length of the program, providing more marketing materials to parents and teachers, and introducing a shopping night for registered schools. The shopping night will allow schools to raise 5% of a local store’s sales from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on a designated evening.

Nearly 500 schools from the three states served by Fresh & Easy participated in the Shop for Schools pilot program held during the last school year. In all, 86 schools in Arizona, 322 in California and 86 in Nevada participated in the program raising thousands of dollars of needed funding to be used however the school liked.

“With school budgets under serious pressure, we are all looking for ways to help. Given the success of the pilot program we are excited to launch Shop for Schools this fall,” said Fresh & Easy Neighborhood affairs director Roberto Munoz. “The money raised can be used on whatever each school needs most. The more customers shop at Fresh & Easy, the more money they can raise for their neighborhood school.”

All eligible schools with students in kindergarten through eighth grade within a three-mile radius of a Fresh & Easy store can participate in the program. This school year’s Shop for Schools program will run from Sept. 15 through Dec. 31. Eligible schools will be sent a registration form to participate in the program and can register through Oct. 1. More information regarding Shop for Schools can be found at www.freshandeasy.com/shopforschools.

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Cardinal Health announces expansion of training resource, succession planning

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON Cardinal Health late last month announced that it would add 14 new modules for its proprietary myPharmacyTrainer online training site, which helps retail pharmacies coach employees on how to deliver better patient care, improve business operations and increase sales.

The myPharmacyTrainer application invites pharmacy staff to interact with virtual patients – each with a unique health care need. By consulting with the patients and answering their questions in an interactive, video game-like environment, staff can quickly learn how to connect patients with pharmacy products and services for their specific needs, and how to improve store sales, productivity and profitability.

Since its launch in September 2008, nearly 2,000 retail pharmacies have used myPharmacyTrainer as a quick, convenient, on-demand training resource.

In other news, Cardinal Health also announced at its annual Retail Business Conference that it has expanded its succession planning and acquisition services for independent pharmacies.

Cardinal Health’s Transition Strategy and Management team can help independent pharmacists to determine the best timing to buy or sell a pharmacy, learn how to structure the sales transaction and understand what kind of additional outside counsel they need.

Since initially launching these services in October 2008, Cardinal Health’s Transition Strategy and Management team has worked with more than 125 pharmacists interested in buying or selling an independent pharmacy. Because Cardinal Health serves more than 5,000 independent pharmacies throughout the United States, the company is uniquely positioned to match potential buyers and sellers and to help develop acquisition and exit strategies that take into consideration the specific challenges these owners face.

“Cardinal Health understands that to many independent pharmacists, planning for the future of their businesses is much like planning for the future of their families,” said Jimmy Neil, VP Transition Strategy and Management for Cardinal Health. “It’s extremely important – but it can also be a complicated, lengthy and emotional process. Studies show that ownership of more than 60 percent of community pharmacies will change hands within the next 10 years, so we’re committed to making sure that independent pharmacies have all of the information and expertise they need to buy, sell or create a long-term exit strategy for their business.”

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Sandoz introduces immunosuppressant in U.S. market

BY Alaric DeArment

HOLZKIRCHEN, Germany A Swiss generic drug maker has introduced a drug for organ transplant patients in the United States.

Sandoz, the generics arm of Novartis, announced Tuesday the introduction of tacrolimus capsules in the 0.5-mg, 1-mg and 5-mg strengths, a generic version of Astellas Pharma’s Prograf. The drug is an immunosuppressant used to prevent rejection of transplanted livers and kidneys.

“Tacrolimus is an important new product for Sandoz, further strengthening our diverse portfolio of affordable medicines in the key U.S. market,” Sandoz CEO Jeff George said in a statement.

Prograf had sales of $929 million for the 12 months ended in April, according to IMS Health data.

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