RETAIL NEWS

Hannaford highlights own brands in new loyalty program

BY Michael Johnsen

Ahold Delhaize’s Hannaford banner announced Monday the company-wide launch of My Hannaford Rewards, a reinvention of grocery store loyalty programs that rewards customers for buying own-brand items while leaving already low prices untouched.

Shoppers who choose to participate earn a 2% reward on every own-brand item purchased, including fresh meat, seafood and deli items, as well as thousands of packaged products across the store. About 5,200 fresh and center-store items qualify for rewards in an averaged-sized Hannaford store.

Shoppers also will receive personalized coupon offers for the national and regional-brand products they buy.

“My Hannaford Rewards is a new way to thank customers, with a 2% reward on own-brand items and coupon offers that are meaningful to them as individuals,” said Mike Vail, brand president for the Scarborough, Maine-based grocer. “The things that people love about Hannaford – including great fresh food, low everyday prices and excellent service – are our foundation. My Hannaford Rewards builds on that to provide customers with additional benefits for the shopping they do each week.”

The program is different from traditional supermarket loyalty programs because in-store prices remain the same for all customers whether they enroll in My Hannaford Rewards or not. By contrast, club models or two-tiered loyalty programs require customers to subscribe to access a better level of store pricing.

My Hannaford Rewards, which began as a test with associates last year and later as an 11-store pilot in Vermont, is now available in all 181 Hannaford stores in five states in the Northeast.

 

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Rite Aid pulls in $1.3B with latest store transfer to WBA

BY Michael Johnsen

Rite Aid Monday evening reported the successful transfer of 625 stores and related assets to Walgreens Boots Alliance, and has received cash proceeds of $1.3 billion, which it is using to repay all of its $970 million of outstanding secured loans while maintaining a strong liquidity position.

“Our teams continue to make tremendous progress in transferring stores to WBA and I want to thank them for their ongoing commitment and dedication,” John Standley, chairman and CEO Rite Aid, said. “We are on track to complete the transfer of stores in the spring of this year. Going forward, we remain focused on the continued smooth execution of that process and capitalizing on our most significant business-building opportunities as we work together to deliver a great experience to our customers and patients, and drive value for our shareholders.”

Under the Asset Purchase Agreement, Walgreens will purchase a total of 1,932 stores, three distribution centers and related inventory from Rite Aid for an all-cash purchase price of $4.4 billion on a cash-free, debt-free basis.

The majority of the closing conditions have been satisfied, and the subsequent transfers of Rite Aid stores and related assets remain subject to minimal customary closing conditions applicable only to the stores being transferred at such subsequent closing, as specified in the Asset Purchase Agreement.

 

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Walgreens Boots Alliance names new communications VP

BY Michael Johnsen

Walgreens Boots Alliance on Monday named Gulden Mesara-Dogan vice president communications USA.

“We are thrilled that Gulden is joining the Walgreens Boots Alliance communications team to lead many of our critical functions,” Chuck Greener, senior vice president for global communications and corporate affairs, Walgreens Boots Alliance, said. “Her experience and expertise across the spectrum of communications operations, especially in the health care industry, will help to take our organization and impact to an even higher level as Walgreens Boots Alliance begins its fourth year as a global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise.”

In her new role at Walgreens Boots Alliance, Mesara-Dogan will oversee a number of communications areas serving the enterprise and U.S. businesses and operations. These include the Walgreens communications division, Walgreens external communications and the Walgreens Boots Alliance internal communications and corporate events groups. She will report to Greener.

Mesara-Dogan will serve alongside Laura Vergani, vice president, international and divisional communications, who also will continue to report to Greener in her role overseeing international communications.

Mesara-Dogan was most recently vice president of global commercial and health communications at AbbVie. At AbbVie, she led communications and patient relations for all of AbbVie’s marketed products, pipeline assets and regional business priorities.

Prior to that Mesara-Dogan was 13 years at Pfizer, where she held positions in marketing, communications and public affairs, including as regional head of communications across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America and top emerging markets across the world.

Earlier in her career Gulden worked for Ketchum and Noonan/Russo Communications, both based in New York City.

 

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