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NCPA names 3 finalists for 2016 GNP NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competiton

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va.– The National Community Pharmacists Association on Monday announced that three teams of pharmacy students have been named finalists in the 2016 Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competiton.

Teams of pharmacy students from University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy and University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy will present their business plans in a live competition at NCPA’s Annual Convention in New Orleans. 

“Congratulations to the three finalists of this year’s competition,” stated Bradley Arthur, NCPA president. “Their impressive entries stood out among a very competitive field. I look forward to their live presentation in October and wish them luck on it," he said. "I also want to commend everyone who competed this year. I encourage all of the students to contact community pharmacists in their area and to continue to pursue their dream of independent community pharmacy ownership.”

This year’s competition drew submissions from 46 schools and colleges of pharmacy, and over 200 student and advisor participants.

The goal of the competition is to motivate pharmacy students to create a business model for buying an existing independent community pharmacy or opening a new pharmacy. Through this competition, NCPA is better able to prepare tomorrow’s pharmacy entrepreneurs for a successful future. The Business Plan Competition is the first national competition of its kind in the pharmacy profession and honors two great champions of independent community pharmacy, the late Neil Pruitt, Sr., and the late H. Joseph Schutte. The competition is supported by Good Neighbor Pharmacy, Pharmacists Mutual Companies and the NCPA Foundation.

Pictured are one of last year's finalists from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Pharmacy.
 

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Ahold, Delhaize complete merger

BY David Salazar
ZAANDAM, the Netherlands — The CEOs of Ahold and Delhaize group completed the two companies’ merger Saturday with the signing of the merger deed, following the approval of the deal by the Federal Trade Commission. 
 
“Today marks the successful completion of this cross-border merger, bringing together two great food retail companies,” Ahold supervisory board chairman Jan Hommen said Saturday. “Ahold Delhaize is ready for a strong start, building on its strong foundation, heritage and complementary businesses."
 
The combined company began trading Monday as Ahold Delhaize on Euronext Amsterdam and Euronext Brussels, with Ahold Delhaize American Depositary receipts trading over-the-counter in the United States.
 
“Completing this merger today is an exciting and historic moment. I would like to thank all associates for their dedication and hard work,” Ahold CEO Dick Boer said when the merger completed. “With our new leadership team, we look forward to continuing to deliver for our customers and other stakeholders.”
 
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Retailer debuts U.S. consumer drone delivery – and it’s not Amazon

BY Dan Berthiaume
The first fully autonomous drone delivery to a customer home has occurred, and the retailer behind it is not who you would expect.
 
Leading convenience chain 7-Eleven partnered with independent drone delivery service Flirtey and the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) to complete two deliveries from a store in Reno, Nevada on Sunday, July 10. 7-Eleven merchandise, including hot and cold food items, were loaded into a Flirtey drone delivery container and flown autonomously using precision GPS to a local customer’s house.
 
Once at the family’s backyard, the Flirtey drone hovered in place and lowered each package. The purchases were delivered to the family in the span of a few minutes. Products included Slurpee drinks, a chicken sandwich, donuts, hot coffee and candy. In the future, both companies expect drone packages to include CPG products such as batteries and sunscreen. The delivery was conducted in celebration of 7-Eleven’s 89th birthday.
 
“Drone delivery is the ultimate convenience for our customers and these efforts create enormous opportunities to redefine convenience,” said Jesus H. Delgado-Jenkins, executive VP and chief merchandising officer of 7-Eleven. “This delivery marks the first time a retailer has worked with a drone delivery company to transport immediate consumables from store to home. In the future, we plan to make the entire assortment in our stores available for delivery to customers in minutes. We look forward to working with Flirtey to deliver to our customers exactly what they need, whenever and wherever they need it.”
 
This event marks a major development in omnichannel retailing. There is still a long way to go before drones become a mainstream fulfillment mechanism, but clearly home delivery will look different in 10 years than it looks today. The fact that 7-Eleven, rather than Amazon or Walmart, was the first to perform a full-fledged drone delivery is also a sign that drones may become quite commonplace as a feature of all types of retail transactions. Other food retailers, including fast food and quick service chains as well as convenience operators, will also surely take note of how well drones fit into the model of delivering hot or chilled food items in a short time span.
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