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Lowe’s Innovation Labs debuts retail robots

BY DSN STAFF

 

 
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A new innovation Lowe's is currently testing in two stores could be a nod to the future of in-store service. Lowe's Innovation Labs will introduce two autonomous retail service robots in an Orchard Supply Hardware store in midtown San Jose, Calif., during the upcoming holiday season to study how robotics technology can benefit customers and employees. Called OSHbot, the robots will assist customers to navigate stores by directing them to specific products and providing real-time information about product promotions and inventory.
 
In the coming months, OSHbot will also be able to communicate with customers in multiple languages and remotely connect with expert employees at other Orchard stores to answer specific project questions. 
 
For store employees, OSHbot will provide an additional layer of support by helping customers with simple questions, enabling more time for them to focus on delivering project expertise. Applications designed to support employees also include real-time inventory management and connecting with employees in other locations to share know-how and answer customer questions.
 
The OSHbot incorporates scanning technology first developed for the Lowe's Holoroom home improvement simulator. For example, a customer may bring in a spare part and scan the object using OSHbot's 3D sensing camera. After scanning and identifying the object, OSHbot will provide product information to the customer and help guide them to its location on store shelves.  
 
The OSHbot was developed through a partnership between Lowe's Innovation Labs and Fellow Robots, a Silicon Valley technology company specializing in the design and development of autonomous service robots. The partnership was initiated through SU Labs, a Singularity University program that connects corporate innovation teams with startups and other organizations to explore exponentially accelerating technologies and create new sustainable business solutions. 
 
"Using science fiction prototyping, we explored solutions to improve customer experiences by helping customers quickly find the products and information they came in looking for," said Kyle Nel, executive director of Lowe's Innovation Labs. "As a result we developed autonomous retail service robot technology to be an intuitive tool customers can use to ask for help, in their preferred language, and expect a consistent experience."

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Rexall CEO Frank Scorpiniti steps down

BY Antoinette Alexander

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — Pharmacy veteran Frank Scorpiniti has stepped down as CEO of Rexall/Katz Group Canada, the Canadian pharmacy retailer has confirmed.

According to a statement sent to Drug Store News, Scorpiniti will be returning to the United States to pursue a career opportunity in the U.S. retail market.

Rexall/Katz Group Canada expects to soon announce its new CEO. In the meantime, Warren Jeffery, COO, will assume day-to-day operating responsibility for the business.

“During his 3 1⁄2 years at Rexall, initially as COO and then as CEO, Frank led a significant transformation of our business including the development of the new Rexall brand that defines our stores, our pharmacies and our private label products today. Frank also pioneered our entry into, and leadership role in the area of Patient Focused Services in our pharmacies, and other pharmacy service and technology innovations. We would like to thank Frank for his leadership and dedication during his time at Rexall,” said chairman Daryl Katz in the statement.

Scorpiniti joined Katz Group Canada in April 2011 as COO. In February 2012, he assumed the role of CEO, following the retirement of Katz Group Canada CEO Andy Giancamilli.

With more than 20 years of retail pharmacy experience, Scorpiniti previously served as SVP pharmacy operations at Duane Reade, a post he held since December 2008. He came to Duane Reade from West Coast regional player Longs Drug Stores, which was acquired by CVS Caremark in October 2008. While at Longs, Scorpiniti held positions of increasing responsibility and ultimately served as VP pharmacy operations, overseeing all aspects of Longs’ pharmacy business.

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Celebrities, Lung Force raise their voices to support Lung Cancer Awareness Month

BY Antoinette Alexander

CHICAGO — As part of Lung Cancer Awareness Month this November, actress and author Valerie Harper, singer/songwriter Jewel, country music singer Kellie Pickler and female NASCAR standout Mackena Bell are teaming up with the American Lung Association's Lung Force to raise awareness and funds to help confront lung cancer in women.

Launched earlier this year, Lung Force — nationally presented by CVS Health — unites women against lung cancer and for lung health, encouraging them to raise their voices for change.

To help confront the issue of lung cancer, Harper, Jewel, Pickler and Bell are each launching their own online Lung Force virtual fundraising team where people can donate and raise money for lung cancer research, education and treatment. Anyone can register and fundraise for a celebrity Lung Force team by visiting Lungforce.org.

"Despite its overwhelming impact, it is clear that too few women are aware that anyone can get lung cancer," said Harold Wimmer, national president and CEO of the American Lung Association. "With greater awareness, through Lung Force, we are dedicated to increasing the Lung Association's investment in lung cancer research and are pushing to increase the investment in cancer research at the National Institutes of Health."

Lung cancer is the No. 1 cancer killer of women. Yet, the disease is not even on women's radar, according to the American Lung Association's inaugural Women's Lung Health Barometer — a survey that measured women's awareness, knowledge and perceptions about lung cancer. When asked to identify cancers that affect women, only 1% cited lung cancer on a top-of-mind basis.

Harper, known for her role as Rhoda Morgenstern in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and its spin-off, “Rhoda,” is a lung cancer survivor and Lung Force champion.

For her part, Jewel unveiled an original Lung Force anthem, "Sing On," earlier this year. The song is about empowering women and is available on iTunes, with all proceeds benefiting Lung Force and the fight against lung cancer in women.

Pickler has been part of Lung Force from day one. Lung cancer took the woman who helped raise Kellie, her grandmother, a woman she has called her angel.

And NASCAR's Bell, one of only four women drivers, is part of this fight, too. Mackena lost her grandfather, whom she called Papa, to lung cancer.

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