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Kmart, Sears offer early online holiday shopping for Shop Your Way members

BY Alaric DeArment

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Sears and Kmart are offering an online pre-sale to members of the Shop Your Way loyalty card program, parent company Sears Holdings said.

The retailers said they would offer more than 1,000 doorbusters as part of the pre-sale on Nov. 22 at Sears.com and on Nov. 24 at Kmart.com.

"Shop Your Way members always get more, and giving early access to Black Friday doorbusters is the ultimate shopping perk," Sears Holdings EVP and president for marketing, online and financial services Imran Jooma said. "Sears and Kmart also offer integrated retail conveniences like free store pick-up, Anywhere, Anyone Pick-Up and online layaway options to help you manage your holiday budget."

While many mass merchandise retailers are planning to start Black Friday shopping early, mostly on Thanksgiving evening, many Kmart customers strongly criticized the retailer last week due to its decision to open stores at 6 a.m. Thanksgiving morning. Kmart’s rent-to-own program has also come under criticism. According to published reports, it charges the equivalent of 100% interest or more, resulting in a $300 TV costing $415, though the retailer has defended it by saying it helps low-income consumers who may not qualify for credit, and its costs are lower than competitors’.

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Rite Aid donates to Red Cross for Philippine typhoon-relief efforts

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid’s philanthropic arm is donating $50,000 for relief efforts in the Philippines in the wake of the devastating Typhoon Haiyan.

The Rite Aid Foundation announced Wednesday that it would donate the money to the Red Cross for people and communities affected. The typhoon, which hit the Southeast Asian island nation Friday, left an estimated 582,000 homeless, according to government estimates cited by CNN, devastating communities like the city of Tacloban. Philippine president Benigno Aquino III told CNN that the death toll was likely to be around 2,500.

"Our hearts go out to the people and communities affected by Typhoon Haiyan," Rite Aid president and COO Ken Martindale said. "So many lives were forever changed as a result of this devastating tropical storm."

 

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AstraZeneca subsidiary, parenting book author partner to push flu vaccines

BY Alaric DeArment

GAITHERSBURG, Md. — AstraZeneca specialty drugs division MedImmune will work with author Elizabeth Pantley to publish a new guide designed to educate parents on flu prevention.

MedImmune said Wednesday a partnership with Pantley, author of the No-Cry Solution parenting book series, to publish "A Parent’s Guide to Flu Season." The guide is designed to educate parents on the importance of flu prevention and help them navigate through flu myths and misconceptions.

"Children are two to three times more likely than adults to contract the flu, and more young children in the U.S. go to the hospital each year because of flu-related complications than any other vaccine-preventable disease," Pantley said. "By developing this booklet with MedImmune Specialty Care, we hope to help parents understand the importance of prevention and encourage families to get an annual vaccination to help protect against the flu."

An average of 20,000 children younger than five are hospitalized due to influenza each year due to flu complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, though only 57% of children aged 6 months to 17 years received a flu vaccination during the 2012-2013 influenza season.

 

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