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Playing to consumers’ needs proves to be a valuable strategy

BY DSN STAFF

Rite Aid has been beefing up its virtual presence lately, having ventured into such social media venues as Facebook and Twitter within the past month.

“We will start now aggressively trying to attract followers on Twitter and fans on Facebook,” John Learish, Rite Aid SVP marketing, told Drug Store News. “It’s a great vehicle for us to get some very rapid viral communication of a lot of the front-end offers and pharmacy services that we are currently doing.”

An added benefit, Learish said, is that the Facebook and Twitter sites can act as feeder sites, funneling consumers onto a Rite Aid-branded page. “All of our posts have clickable links to the other services that we’re offering. So we can link to Video Values, or you can sign up for wellness+,” Learish said.

Rite Aid’s Video Values online initiative, now 1 year old, has gained significant traction, Learish said. “Video viewership has grown exponentially and increased every single month,” he said. In July, more than 7,000 videos were accessed and viewed on the site, and as of mid-August, Learish expected viewers would again surpass that mark for August. “In July, the average customer was watching almost 40 videos,” Learish said.

Like the wellness+ loyalty card program, Video Values generates a significant amount of actionable data by marrying consumer demographics with the videos they watch, which coupons get printed and then which coupons are redeemed. Rite Aid then can take these data-driven learnings and apply them to merchandising and marketing programs in store. “One of the [benefits] we get from this program is unbelievable metrics,” Learish said.

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Jewel-Osco celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with ‘Sabor de la Herencia Hispana’

BY Allison Cerra

ITASCA, Ill. A Midwest food and drug retailer is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with its third annual VIP reception to honor the culture and significant achievements of the Hispanic community.

Jewel-Osco is holding its signature event, “Sabor de la Herencia Hispana” (Taste of Hispanic Heritage), on Sept. 22, and is dedicated to recognizing the continuous efforts and outstanding contributions made by leaders from the civic, business and nonprofit sectors of the community. During the VIP reception, Jewel-Osco will honor three social service agencies for their efforts and their commitment to enriching the Hispanic communities they serve. This year, Jewel-Osco will award a total of $15,000 in grants to Association House, Namaste Charter School and The Resurrection Project.  The work of these organizations reflects Jewel-Osco’s pledge to support initiatives that mirror the company’s charitable giving strategy, which focuses on three areas: hunger relief, nutrition education and environmental stewardship, the retailer said.

The event also will highlight the unique flavors and richness of Latin cuisine, by showcasing exclusive dishes developed by culinary students from Chicago’s St. Augustine College.

“We are proud to observe Hispanic Heritage Month with an event that celebrates the culture and traditions of the Latino community,” said Jewel-Osco president, Keith Nielsen. “‘Sabor de la Herencia Hispana’ supports the culinary talent of Hispanic youth and recognizes the exceptional contributions of this community.”

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Safeway donates $25K, food and supplies to benefit San Bruno victims

BY Allison Cerra

PLEASANTON, Calif. Following a devastating gas explosion in San Bruno, Calif., the philanthropic arm of Safeway announced it will donate $25,000 to the American Red Cross to help those affected by the disaster.

Safeway also said it would provide food, supplies and grocery gift cards to families who were impacted. Roughly 80 Safeway stores in the surrounding counties are collecting donations at checkstands for the American Red Cross’ San Bruno relief effort.

Safeway operates 1,712 stores in the United States.

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