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Kmart to roll out lease-to-own program later this month

BY Alaric DeArment

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Mass merchandiser Kmart is planning to roll out lease-to-own financing at stores around the country this holiday season, the Sears Holdings-owned chain said Wednesday.

The retailer began testing the program in mid-October and plans to make it available in all stores by Nov. 22. Customers will be able to take home items priced at $150 and more for no credit, including appliances, mattresses, furniture, lawn and garden equipment, consumer electronics, service plans and others. To qualify, customers must be at least 18 years old, earn at least $1,000 per month and supply a social security or tax identification number when applying.

"Kmart’s lease-to-own program will help ease some of the financial barriers our members and customers will face this holiday season," Sears Holdings VP financial services Jai Holtz said. "For members and customers who have an immediate need, lease-to-own gives a full-house assortment of products and a way to pay."

 

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The Little Clinic, UC Health form clinical collaboration

BY Antoinette Alexander

CINCINNATI — UC Health, the affiliated health system of the University of Cincinnati, and The Little Clinic have announced a clinical collaboration to provide consumers with improved access to healthcare services with UC Health supporting The Little Clinic locations inside 18 Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, area Kroger stores.

“This collaboration allows patients greater access to health care close to home and work,” stated Dr. Ken Patric, chief medical officer for The Little Clinic. “One of our goals is to provide convenient monitoring for those who struggle with chronic care management such as diabetes. Offering a convenient place for routine examinations and supervision of such conditions will enhance compliance and improve outcomes.”

This arrangement with UC Health will serve to strengthen the patient-physician relationship, the companies stated. With the patient’s permission, The Little Clinic and UC Health will exchange medical record information for greater continuity of care. This will enable patients of UC Health to access care at The Little Clinic for common illnesses, minor injuries, vaccinations, physicals and other wellness services. Convenient availability to health care in the evenings and weekends will also help reduce visits to the emergency room.

“Developing relationships that improve access to specialized health care throughout the region and nationally is one of UC Health’s strategic initiatives,” added Jim Kingsbury, president and CEO of UC Health. “Kroger is an iconic company deeply rooted in Cincinnati and we look at the association with The Little Clinic as a tremendous opportunity.”

The Little Clinic was founded in 2003 and is headquartered in Nashville. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Kroger, The Little Clinic healthcare clinics are currently located inside select Kroger stores in Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio; and in King Soopers in Colorado and Fry’s Food Stores in Arizona.

 

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Bartell pilots on-demand publishing system from Kodak Alaris, On Demand Books

BY Alaric DeArment

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Seattle drug store chain Bartell Drugs is offering custom printing in its stores through a pilot program with Kodak Alaris, the photography giant said Wednesday.

Kodak said a Bartell store in Seattle’s University Village shopping center would offer consumers a full-service, digital-to-print media system with On Demand Books’ Espresso Book Machine, integrated with Kodak Picture Kiosks. The pilot program marks the first time the system has been offered in a drug store environment.

"This new offering from Kodak Alaris represents the latest in exciting new solutions that are relevant to our market and help us drive business in our stores," Bartell category manager Howie Cohen said. "As consumers seek more ways to express themselves and create personalized products, this technology offers an exciting, accessible way for them to engage with their content, whether through words or pictures, and create something meaningful that they can treasure for a lifetime."

The service allows customers to print high-quality, custom books or purchase from On Demand Books’ catalog of more than 7 million titles in minutes. Bartell will begin offering photo books with the machine starting in spring 2014. Customers can print books ranging from family histories and family recipes to novels and poetry, Kodak Alaris said.

 

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