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Kmart, Sears launch app for Shop Your Way members

BY Alaric DeArment

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Kmart and Sears have launched a new app aimed at members of their loyalty card program, parent company Sears Holdings said Tuesday.

The Shop Your Way mobile app allows members to unlock special deals and personalized offers using a "Shop’In" feature when they are near a Sears or Kmart store, as well as get 10% back in reward points when they use a Sears Card, or 3% if they use any other form of payment. Using Shop Your Way Local yields 20% in savings and points, e-coupons and local deals. Other features include price and product comparisons, chatting and photo sharing and access to information from employees.

"Shop’In connects with the added benefits of instant access to deals and e-coupons, special pricing and members-only perks, all from a mobile device," Sears Holdings EVP and president of marketing, online, pricing and financial services Imran Jooma said. "The integrated retail offerings available to Shop Your Way members are seamless and convenient to help members manage their time and budgets no matter how they want to shop — it’s shopping a better way this holiday season."

 

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CCA, Foundation for Health Smart Consumers highlight ‘Inspire’ training program for clinicians at conference

BY Antoinette Alexander

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. — The Foundation for Health Smart Consumers and the Convenient Care Association presented the "Inspire" program at the recent Beyond the 5 A’s: Improving Cessation Intervention through Strengthened Training conference held in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The conference was held Nov. 13-15. This event, presented by National Jewish Health and the North American Quitline Consortium in collaboration with the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center, brought together public health tobacco cessation experts, systems decision-makers, healthcare providers and researchers to discuss advances in both evidence and practice for smoking cessation interventions.

FHSC and CCA were chosen to showcase their work on Inspire, a training program developed for clinicians working in the retail health industry and designed to increase provider knowledge and confidence in promoting and supporting tobacco use cessation among those patients utilizing retail-based healthcare services.

Launched in May 2013, the Inspire program has proven to increase provider confidence in both their ability to refer their patients to obtain services to quit using tobacco and helping patients quit using tobacco. Current Inspire trainees, who are primarily nurse practitioners, have come from more than 20 states. The program has been offered face-to-face and is available virtually.

“With the increased focus on preventive health with healthcare reform and retail-based clinics providing a critical access point into the healthcare system for many people, the Inspire program is an effective tool to support the work of retail clinicians,” said Tine Hansen-Turton, executive director of the CCA. “Retail clinics are playing an increasingly important role in healthcare delivery, and the Inspire program is one more tool clinicians have to provide high-quality, accessible care to millions of Americans nationwide. This conference is an exciting place to share our work with Inspire and the work of the clinicians.”

“It is an honor to be among this prestigious group of smoking cessation experts, healthcare researchers and providers, and to share the Inspire program and its success thus far,” said Mary Alice Lawless, chairman of FHSC.

The Inspire smoking cessation project is made possible by a national grant awarded to FHSC and CCA by the Pfizer Independent Grants for Learning & Change and the support of the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center.

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Spartan Stores, Nash Finch finalize merger

BY Michael Johnsen

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Spartan Stores and Nash Finch Company on Tuesday announced the completion of their merger. Spartan Stores will use the corporate name of SpartanNash Company, with the official name change to SpartanNash expected to become effective at the annual shareholders meeting in May 2014. 

The combined company will continue to conduct business as Spartan Stores, Nash Finch and MDV in their respective markets. 

"This merger brings together two highly complementary organizations to form a leader in the grocery wholesale, retail and military commissary and exchange channels," said Dennis Eidson, president and CEO of Spartan Stores. "We look forward to leveraging our new platform with its broader customer base and geographic reach to create significant long-term value for our shareholders. 

Spartan Stores and Nash Finch shareholders approved the merger during separate shareholder meetings held Nov. 18. More than 99% of Spartan Stores shares voting on the proposed issuance of stock to Nash Finch stockholders in the merger voted in favor. More than 98% of Nash Finch shares voting on the proposal voted in favor of the merger. 

SpartanNash’s Board of Directors includes seven directors from Spartan Stores’ previous board and four directors from Nash Finch’s previous board. In addition to Craig Sturken, who will serve as chairman, and Eidson, president and CEO, the other members of the board include Shan Atkins, Frank Gambino, Yvonne Jackson, Elizabeth Nickels and Timothy J. O’Donovan — all former members of the board of directors of Spartan Stores — along with former Nash Finch board members William Voss, Mickey Foret, Douglas Hacker and Hawthorne Proctor.

Along with completing the merger, SpartanNash has changed its fiscal year end from the last Saturday in March to the Saturday closest to December 31. This date change results in a transition period with a 15-week third quarter this year versus a 16-week third quarter last year and a 39-week fiscal year ending December 28, 2013 versus a 52-week fiscal year ending March 30, 2013. Approximately six weeks of Nash Finch’s sales and earnings contributions will be included in Spartan’s third-quarter and fiscal year results.

SpartanNash expects that the transaction will create cost synergies of approximately $20 million, $35 million and $52 million in fiscal years 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively.

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