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Penniless: Most Canadian retailers ready for phase-out of 1-cent coins, retailing group says

BY Alaric DeArment

TORONTO — Most retailers in Canada are ready for a phase-out of 1-cent coins, a national retailing trade group said Wednesday.

The Retail Council of Canada said the majority of the country’s retail businesses were prepared for the disappearance of the penny and will follow the government’s proposals for determining prices.

The Canadian Mint stopped producing pennies last spring and will begin phasing them out of circulation starting on Feb. 4. At that point, retailers are encouraged to round prices up and down to the nearest five cents when exact change is not available. For example, an item that costs $1.01 or $1.02 will be rounded down to $1, while an item costing $1.06 or $1.07 will be rounded to $1.05; an item costing $1.03 to $1.04 will be rounded to $1.05, while an item costing $1.08 or $1.09 will be rounded to $1.10. Rounding will not be needed when payment is made by check or electronically.

"On Feb. 4, most of Canada’s retailers will be ready at the cash register to handle the phase out of the penny," RCC president and CEO Diane Brisebois said. "While we have been supportive of this initiative all along, we are grateful that the government delayed implementing the changes until this point, as retailers have needed the extra time to prepare."

According to an RCC survey, 55% of retailers are prepared for the phase-out, while 74% of small retailers and 75% of large retailers will round manually at the cash register. At the same time, 63% of large businesses will change their point-of-sale systems, which could cost them more than $100,000.

"While smaller businesses will do the rounding manually and then determine the appropriate course of action, both in relation to cost and customer service, it is not a practical approach for retailers with thousands of employees," Brisebois said. "This of course represents a substantial cost for retailers to enable them to maintain standardization and meet consumers’ needs and expectations."


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Safeway, ExxonMobil partner on new loyalty card offer

BY Michael Johnsen

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway and ExxonMobil on Wednesday announced a new loyalty program that will award customers in the Mid-Atlantic region Reward Points, redeemable at any ExxonMobil station, for products purchased at Safeway.  

According to a recent Safeway survey, one-third of families go out of their way to look for deals because saving money is important to them. Nearly three out of four people will drive out of their way to purchase more affordable gas, and 76% of consumers said they would change where they grocery shop and purchase gas to save money. 

With more than a quarter of consumers spending up to $175 on gas and up to $300 on groceries each month, the two companies are looking to redirect that customer traffic into Safeway aisles and at ExxonMobil pumps.

"Safeway listens to its shoppers, and we understand the importance of stretching grocery dollars," stated Mir Aamir, president of customer loyalty and digital technologies at Safeway. "By teaming up with ExxonMobil, we’re able to thank our customers with a loyalty program that makes two frequent and critical purchases lead to real savings."


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Take Care Health collaborates with Indiana health system on better patient care

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens’ subsidiary Take Care Health Systems on Wednesday announced a clinical collaboration with Indianapolis-based Community Health Network that will facilitate more coordinated healthcare services and improve patient access to high-quality, convenient and affordable care throughout central Indiana.

“We began a relationship with Walgreens two years ago to explore ways to increase patient adherence to prescribed medications and we developed a pilot program,” noted Kyle Fisher, chief strategic development officer at Community Health Network. “Through this program, we discovered our organizations share a dedicated focus on innovation, customer service and high-quality patient care.”

The final outcome both companies are striving for is better patient care, executives noted. “One of our key goals is to improve access and convenience to Community’s patients and our partner’s patients,” commented Tim Hobbs,  chief physician executive at Community Health Network. “We have a growing ambulatory delivery system and employer health network. Our physicians and leadership are very committed to that and have been impressed with Walgreens desire to do the same. Through this relationship, we are bringing new thinking to local health care delivery and helping ensure that patients are receiving the best care at the best location," he said. “This type of collaborative approach leverages the unique capabilities of both parties and represents the direction that health care is moving.”

“With its ambulatory footprint and position as one of the most highly integrated health care providers in Central Indiana, Community Health Network shares our objectives to improve access and overall health, while also reducing costs for patients, payers and providers,” stated Jeffrey Kang, Walgreens SVP health and wellness services and solutions. “By developing new and innovative coordinated care programs, Walgreens and Take Care Clinics are helping to bridge critical gaps in care by working closely with others in the medical community, and furthering our mission to help patients get, stay and live well.”

As part of the collaboration, the two healthcare providers will coordinate care for Community Health Network patients with Take Care Clinic providers for acute, chronic and diagnostic services and direct communication between Community Health Network physicians and Take Care Clinic nurse practitioners to facilitate care coordination and sharing of patient information. 

Under the agreement, Walgreens and Community Health Network are also exploring opportunities to share electronic medical records, with the goal of eventually having shared patients’ records fully integrated with Community CareConnect, the patient-centric, electronic medical records technology platform owned by Community Health Network. This level of coordination could also include patients being able to schedule appointments online at Community Health Network physician offices, Take Care Clinics, MedCheck locations and imaging sites.

Community Health Network has more than 200 sites of care and affiliates throughout Central Indiana, including eight hospitals and network of over 2,000 credentialed physicians. There are 14 Take Care Clinics in Central Indiana.


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kaibennet says:
Jun-06-2013 09:39 pm

This would be a great collaboration for both. This is to strengthen the foundation in taking care of of people's health. What a nice idea of collaboration. I am hoping that this will last long and will never be broken. Thanks for this post.

K.LOPOEZ says:
Apr-20-2013 05:15 am

Through advanced and digital health care system people are getting better and liable opportunities to get fair health care programs. And these are possible due to several beneficial steps taken towards the developing strategies of health care programs. Mostly advanced and fair health care programs are easily attracting patients. urgent care locations

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