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Overseer of Target’s Canadian expansion quits

BY Gail Hoffer

MINNEAPOLIS — Michael Francis, Target’s EVP and chief marketing officer, and the person charged with leading the retailer’s expansion into Canada, has left the company, Target announced Monday.

“We would like to thank Michael for his many contributions and wish him the best in his future endeavors” said Target chairman, president and CEO Gregg Steinhafel said.

Francis will continue his career as president of JCPenney, effective Oct. 4, where will be responsible for all merchandising, marketing, planning and allocation, and product development and sourcing functions for the retailer. He will report to incoming JCPenney CEO Ron Johnson.

Regarding his new position, Francis said, "This is a tremendous opportunity for me to get back to department store retail. I began my career working on the sales floor of the State Street Marshall Field’s in Chicago. It was there where my passion for retail began and my understanding of the power and potential of the department store was formed. I am delighted to join JCPenney and work with Ron and the talented JCPenney team to help accelerate the momentum already taking place."

Back in January, Francis was named the executive committee sponsor of Target’s entrance into the Canadian market. In this role, Francis was to oversee the extension of Target’s brand as part of the corporation’s first-ever expansion of its stores beyond the United States.

At the time of the announcement, Steinhafel said, “With more than 25 years of experience with this corporation, Michael has a deep understanding of Target and the retail industry. His responsibility for corporate brand and reputation including our community relations efforts uniquely position him to lead this effort.”

Target intends to open its first Canadian stores in 2013 and has yet to provide details on who will continue Francis’ efforts after his departure.

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Industry veteran Warren Jeffery to retire

BY Michael Johnsen

EDMONTON, Alberta — Katz Group Canada on Monday announced the planned retirement Oct. 31 of Warren Jeffery, chief development officer and interim chief merchandising officer.

“We thank Warren for his contributions and his leadership,” stated Andy Giancamilli, CEO of Katz Group Canada. “Warren has been at the helm of key organizational initiatives that have driven innovation in pharmacy care and improved medication compliance and has set a solid foundation for future organizational growth. We wish him all the best in his retirement.”

Jeffery’s career spans 35 years. He joined Rexall with a mandate to strengthen Rexall’s corporate store operations and has since helped Rexall to significant gains in store capabilities, strategies and processes that span operations, real estate, acquisitions and pharmacy services. Jeffery played a key part in the rollout of more than 200 prototype stores, the development of progressive employer‐based and specialty programs, and the launch of Rexall Reminder Ready, a first-to-market medication compliance program.

Most recently, Jeffery was the executive sponsor for Rexall’s innovative healthy living prototype.

“There is a strong management team at Rexall and a genuine dedication to improving patient care and delivering a superior customer experience," Jeffery said. "I am appreciative of the role I’ve played in the organization’s development.”

Jeffery had previously served in senior executive roles in operations, merchandising and marketing at several retail pharmacy organizations, including Perry Drug Stores, Revco Drug Stores, Phar‐Mor Deep Discount Food & Drug and McKesson. Jeffery holds a pharmacy degree from Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich.

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Study: Some parents of young kids opt for alternative vaccination schedule

BY Allison Cerra

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — According to new research conducted by the University of Michigan, more than 1-out-of-10 parents of young children use an alternative vaccination schedule, a practice that may put children’s health at risk.

“Small decreases in vaccine coverage are known to lead to dramatic increases in the risk of vaccine preventable disease outbreaks,” said Amanda Dempsey, study author, assistant professor in the department of pediatrics and communicable diseases and a member of the Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. “Not following the recommended schedule leaves kids at risk for these diseases unnecessarily.”

When it came to who developed the alternative schedule, 41% of the parents said they developed it, 15% said a friend developed the schedule, and 8% reported using a well-known alternative schedule developed by a pediatric expert (i.e., Dr. Bob Sears). What’s more, nearly one-third of parents (30%) said they had initially followed the recommended vaccination schedule, but many said they switched because it “seemed safer.”

The most commonly-delayed vaccines were measles-mumps-rubella (45%) and diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (43%).

Among those parents that adhered to the regular vaccination schedule, 25% said they thought that delaying vaccination was still safer.

The study, which was published in Pediatrics, surveyed 771 parents of children ages 6 months to 6 years during May 2010.

Dempsey also noted that an alternative vaccination schedule potentially could lead to "underimmunizaton," which could put children’s health at risk.

“More resources need to be devoted to finding ways to successfully change where attitudes are going,” Dempsey said. “Clearly, this problem is not going to go away, and our data suggest it will actually get worse over time.”

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