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Pa. supermarket wine kiosks taken off-line

BY Michael Johnsen

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board on Tuesday announced it temporarily will close Pronto wine kiosks statewide to address mechanical and technological issues.

The kiosks were located in 30 supermarkets across the state, including in Giant Food, Wegmans Food Market, Giant Eagle, The Fresh Grocer and Shop ‘n Save stores.

"While customer satisfaction with the six-month-old kiosk program remains high, recent problems — such as product not dispensing — require us to take immediate action while we wait for the manufacturer to correct all of the identified issues," stated PLCB chairman PJ Stapleton. "We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our customers and supermarket partners, but felt this temporary closure was critical to the future success of the program."

Simple Brands, the developer of the kiosks, will be working on each machine to correct any identified issues, the PLCB asserted. Once all of the kiosks have been fixed and thoroughly tested, the PLCB, along with its supermarket partners and Simple Brands, will work to reopen the kiosks.

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Hy-Vee notes 11th-hour shoppers this Christmas

BY Allison Cerra

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Store directors at Hy-Vee said they noticed customers delay to purchase certain items until Christmas Eve.

Specialty items, including such products as cocktail sauce, heavy whipping cream and batteries; stock-up items, including beverages and eggs; and gifts and entertainment items tend to be purchased in the 11th hour.

What could be motivating these last-minute shopping trips is the fact that most stores are closed on Christmas Day, the Hy-Vee store directors noted. "That seems to be their motivation — go to the store on Christmas Eve, or else you do without for a couple days," said Bob Trader, Hy-Vee store director in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Hy-Vee operates 231 retail stores in eight Midwestern states.

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Kodak names chief customer officer

BY Allison Cerra

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A Kodak corporate VP was appointed chief customer officer this week.

Gustavo Oviedo, who also served as the company’s general manager, worldwide sales and customer operations, will fill his role as chief customer officer and general manager, worldwide regional operations on Jan. 1. Oviedo will report to Kodak chairman and CEO Antonio Perez. With this new role, he will serve on Kodak’s executive council. Prior to this appointment, Oviedo was a member of the company’s operations council.

As Kodak’s new chief customer officer, Oviedo is responsible for making the customer central to the company’s delivery of products and services — from design to distribution.

Oviedo joined Kodak in 2006 with the company’s acquisition of Kodak Polychrome Graphics.

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