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Kmart Pharmacy makes opioid overdose-reversal drug available

BY DSN STAFF

Kmart Pharmacy announced that the opioid overdose-reversal medication naloxone is now available without an individual prescription in locations throughout the nation.

“We agree with the U.S. Surgeon General’s call to make naloxone more widely available,” William Linnane, president of Kmart Pharmacy, said. “Every day, more than 115 Americans die after overdosing on opioids. The misuse of and addiction to opioids — including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl — is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare.”

The Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based company’s pharmacists are able to dispense naloxone to patients without a prescription in states where it is permitted. The retailer’s pharmacy chain also is ensuring that its pharmacists are trained and equipped with the resources to recommend, dispense and educate caregivers, family and friends on the lifesaving drug.

Kmart Pharmacy also utilizes such tools as the eHealth and the Medicare.gov Plan Finder for Medicare Members to help them assess their Part D coverage and enroll in plans, the company said.

Further information can be found on Kmart Pharmacy’s website.

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Kroger to increase employee benefits

BY Marianne Wilson

Kroger is increasing benefits for its employees as retailers continue to feel the pressure of a tight job market.

The supermarket giant on Monday announced several employee initiatives, including an education assistance program, accelerated investments in store associate wages, and a more generous 401(k) benefit. It also is enhancing associate discount and support programs. Last week, Kroger announced that is looking to fill 11,000 positions in its supermarket division, including almost 2,000 management jobs.

Under the new education program, called Feed You Future, Kroger and its subsidiaries will now offer full-and part-time associates an employee education benefit of up to $3,500 annually ($21,000 over the course of employment) toward continuing education and development opportunities including a high school equivalency exam, professional certifications and advanced degrees. Kroger said expects to increase by five times its total annual investment in employee education.

As part of the initiative, Kroger is also introducing a new educational leave of absence that allows associates to take time off work to focus on approved studies, while maintaining a role with the family of companies and their seniority.

“We care about our nearly half a million associates’ growth and development, and we believe investing in education will support and encourage lifelong learning and reinforce our ‘come for a job, stay for a career’ opportunity culture,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. “We believe that making education benefits available to more associates and at more generous levels than ever before is the best way to support their future.”

Kroger is also increasing the company match for its 401(k) program to 5%, up from the existing 4%. It is expanding its employee discount program for associate shopping in its stores, and investing $5 million more into its Helping Hands program, an internal fund to aid associates who are going through hard times.

In order to increase starting wages and overall wage rates in certain markets, Kroger is utilizing the benefits of the recent tax cut to accelerate some of the previously-announced, incremental $500 million investment in associate wages, training, and development during the next three years.

“The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a catalyst that is enabling us to accelerate investments in Restock Kroger, our plan to serve America through food inspiration and uplift,” said McMullen. “Sharing the benefits of tax reform with our associates and customers will create a more sustainable and stronger business model to support Restock Kroger and beyond. This approach is also consistent with living our purpose: to Feed the H

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Target’s Drive Up, same-day delivery service grows

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Two delivery programs will make it easier for more customers to make their Target runs — whether they shop online or in-store.

The discounter announced it is expanding “Drive Up” service, which allows guests to place orders via the Target app, then have their items brought out to their cars by a store team member. The service will now be available in nearly 270 stores in Florida, Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and South Carolina. This is the first expansion of Drive Up since it was launched as a pilot in the Minneapolis area last fall, according to “A Bullseye View,” a blog on Target’s website.

Here’s how it works: Customers select Drive Up as the fulfillment option when placing an order through the Target app. Target will notify shoppers within two hours that the order is ready. Customers click on the “I’m on the Way” button when they are headed to the store.

Once they arrive, customers park in a designated Drive Up spot, and a Target associate will bring the order to the car within two minutes.

The company plans to continue expanding Drive Up to 1,000 stores nationwide by the end of 2018 according to Target.

In addition, the discounter is expanding a service that lets customers shop select urban stores, and have their order delivered within two hours for a flat fee. Following last year’s successful pilot launch in four New York City stores, the service will now be available in nearly 60 Target stores in five major cities, including Boston, Chicago, New York City, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., by the end of the month, according to “A Bullseye View,” a blog on Target’s website.

When checking out in store, customers alert the cashier they would like home delivery and choose their desired two-hour delivery window. They provide their address and leave items at the store. A dedicated driver will deliver the purchase to the shopper’s doorstep within the customer’s chosen delivery window.

The service fee is $7. Oversized purchases, such as furniture, are subject to an additional $25 handling fee, according to the blog.

“We’re using our network of more than 1,800 stores and our enhanced supply chain operations and digital technologies to roll out more convenient shopping options … nationwide,” the blog added.

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