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Rite Aid hops to it with HipCricket

BY Michael Johnsen

KIRKLAND, Wash. Rite Aid is among the retailers working with mobile marketing company HipCricket in an effort to reach Hispanic customers through permission-based offers and advertisements sent to their mobile phones. It’s a market that is overweighted with mobile phones, has a desire to interact with brands and has buying power that is projected to exceed $1 trillion in 2010, HipCricket noted in a release Tuesday.

Rite Aid has already realized a significant increase in store traffic by providing coupon offers when consumers texted “MARCA” (Spanish for “brand”) to a specific shortcode, HipCricket noted. A coupon for $3 off a purchase of $15 or more produced a 7.6% click-through rate and 2.5% clicked on an offer for a $25 gift card given to those who transferred their prescriptions to Rite Aid.

“Since we launched the Hispanic Mobile Marketing Network last year, it has delivered tremendous value to our brand as well as retail and broadcast partners, by providing them with a conduit to reach very valuable, loyal customers who are ready to engage,” stated Eric Harber, HipCricket president and COO. “These results represent just the beginning of the capabilities of the network which will continue its rapid growth in the weeks and months to come.”

Other companies utilizing HipCricket include Arby’s, Harley-Davidson, HBO and Frito Lay North America’s Cheetos brand.

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Report: PSE legislation proposal hits Jefferson County, Mo.

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK The ultimate impact in allowing local municipalities to regulate what’s prescription and what isn’t, will more than quadruple the price of nonprescription medicines, and not just decongestants. And that’s outrageous.

 

While the actual price increase may be hard to pin down, the fact that OTC medicine costs will go up across the nation isn’t too far a stretch. Allow these regulations to stand, and local politicians the nation over will feel emboldened to introduce legislation requiring a prescription for, say, aspirin, because one of their constituents, an ill-advised parent, fed their fevered baby an aspirin product despite the warning label. Or legislation that’d require a prescription for dextromethorphan, because another constituent never talked to his or her children about drug abuse and was shocked to find the phrase “not my child” failed to protect them.

 

 

And that’s not too far a stretch. Back in 2003, then-Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich signed into law the sales ban of ephedra, because that was the ingredient that allegedly caused the death of high school athlete 16-year-old Sean Riggins the fall before. And while ephedra soon after was pulled off the market by the Food and Drug Administration, that’s the only agency that should have been making the decision in the first place. The Illinois legislation was pushed through because of the heartbreaking death of a young boy. The FDA’s decision was made on account of thousands of adverse event reports associated with, in this case, ephedra. And Riggins was only one of those adverse event reports.

 

 

So the danger in allowing local regulators to craft legislation determining what’s sold with a prescription and what’s not would create a complex distribution system not only for PSE, but potentially for any OTC medicine that may be associated with an adverse event. It’s a potential distribution system that would create a de facto third class of drugs — MPOTCs (mixed prescription/over-the-counter drugs), where 43% of the nation’s counties have determined that aspirin is dangerous in the hands of parents who don’t bother to read the drug facts label, or 38% of the nation’s counties have determined that voluntary age restrictions on the sale of dextromethorphan coupled with marketing campaigns urging parents to talk to their children about drug abuse simply is not good enough.

 

Where would the line be drawn?

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Hy-Vee CEO wins IGIA Retailer of the Year award

BY Alaric DeArment

DES MOINES, Iowa The CEO of supermarket chain Hy-Vee has won the Iowa Grocery Industry Association’s Retailer of the Year award, according to published reports.

The Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier reported that Hy-Vee chairman, CEO and president Ric Jurgens won the award at the IGIA’s Hall of Fame Dinner in West Des Moines, Iowa, Tuesday.

Jurgens began working for Hy-Vee as a college student in 1969. He became CEO of the company in 2003, when then-CEO Ron Pearson stepped down.

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