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Rite Aid names new chief information officer

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid Corp. announced Monday that Steve Rempel, a highly experienced information technology executive, has been named Rite Aid's SVP and chief information officer.
 
"Steve is an information technology expert with a proven track record in creating, driving and delivering value and results through innovative technology solutions," said Frank Vitrano, SVP and chief administrative officer for Rite Aid. "His vast retail experience will be extremely valuable to Rite Aid as we continue to develop our technology and services platforms and strategies to further strengthen our business operations and enhance the experiences of our valued customers and associates."
 
In this position, Rempel will have responsibility for all aspects of the company's technology and information operations, including computer systems, network infrastructure, telecommunications and data security as well as the continued development and execution of Rite Aid's immediate and long-term information technology strategy. 
 
Rempel will report to Vitrano.
 
Before joining Rite Aid, Rempel served as chief information officer, president and CEO for Lenexa, Kan.,-based Balance Innovations, the leading provider of reconciliation and cash management solutions for the retail industry. During his tenure at Balance Innovations, he had oversight for the company's technology strategy and provided strategic, financial and operational direction.
 
Rempel began his career at Safeway, one of the nation's largest food and drug retailers. During his 35 years at Safeway, Rempel held a variety of information technology positions with increasing responsibility. Serving as the organization's group VP of application development, he had enterprise-wide responsibility for all elements of the information technology applications process, including design, development, procurement, development and support.
 
Rempel earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of the Fraser Valley in British Columbia and will receive his M.B.A from Auburn University this spring.  
 
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Target does creative fitness deal with Lifetime

BY Mike Troy

MINNEAPOLIS — Target is flexing its marketing muscles with the introduction of a 39-minute workout regimen at Lifetime Fitness clubs to shape up sales of its proprietary C9 Champion activewear brand.

Dubbed the C9 Challenge, Target and Life Time Fitness, operator of 114 health clubs nationwide, developed the novel idea of offering the branded and strenuous exercise class and promoting its exclusive availability at Life Time’s clubs. The class will be available in May and was developed in collaboration with Life Time experts and Target’s C9 Champion brand ambassador Adam Rosante, author of “The 30-Second Body: Eat Clean. Train Dirty. Live Hard.”

“The C9 Challenge class we’ve developed with Target’s C9 Champion ambassador Adam Rosante will be social and fun, with a broad appeal for women and men alike yet, and as Adam says, push them to realize they’re stronger than they think they are,” said Kimberly Spreen-Glick, Life Time national senior director of group fitness. “Life Time is known for bringing our members effective, innovative and one-of-a-kind group fitness classes designed and taught by the industry’s best instructors. We can’t wait for members to experience C9 Challenge.”

In addition to promoting brand awareness of the proprietary Target brand in an unconventional way, the class is designed to challenge nine core areas of the body in 39 minutes. Each class begins with a dynamic warm up, followed by three fitness blocks focused on upper body, lower body and core followed by a one minute cardio burst to drive the heart up and ensure a metabolic after burn.

“This new Life Time class smashes the notion that you need to spend lot of time at the club to get a solid workout,” said Rosante. “We all want to look good and feel great in class, and Target’s exclusive line of C9 Champion activewear can deliver that at a great price without sacrificing on performance.”

In addition to the class, C9 Champion will be integrated throughout Life Time destinations in a variety of ways including in-club video and signage, surprise and delight moments for those taking the class, and sneak peeks at new products.

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Electronic payments up 5% in 2014

BY Dan Berthiaume

HERNDON, Va. — In 2014, ACH (automated clearing house) volume grew to almost 23 billion electronic payments, an increase of almost 5%, or 1 billion transactions, from 2013 volume. According to new statistics released by NACHA — The Electronic Payments Association, a total of more than $40 trillion was transferred via NACHA’s ACH Network in 2014, increasing more than 3% compared to 2013.
 
Reflecting the industry’s continued adoption and use of electronic payments, native electronic payments, or transactions that start and end as electronic, constituted 90% of ACH Network volume. In 2014, there were more than 16 billion native electronic payments, up 6.3% from 2013.
 
Specific categories of native electronic payments that saw significant growth in 2014 include online payments (Web transactions), business-to-business payments, and recurring payments such as direct deposit via ACH.
 
Web debit or credit payments made when authorization is provided via the Internet or a wireless network grew 10.2% in 2014. A total of 3.6 billion Web transactions were exchanged via the ACH Network in 2014. In total, Web transactions accounted for almost 20% of ACH Network volume.  
 
In 2014, the ACH Network processed a total of 2.7 billion business-to-business transactions. This was an increase of 7.3% from 2013.
 
Recurring payments, which account for almost half of total ACH Network volume, grew by 4.4% in 2014. Direct deposit via ACH increased 3.6% from 2013.
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