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Study: Back-to-school forecast looks sunny

BY Dan Berthiaume
Many kids are just starting their summer vacations, but back-to-school shopping is well underway.
 
According to a study Yahoo conducted with Ipsos Connect, “Back-to-school Back-to-college Shoppers April 2016,” the average back-to-school and back-to-college shopper plans to spend 37% more in 2016 compared to 2015 ($470 compared to $343). And back-to-school shoppers are not only parents. Students younger than 18 spend an average of $273 per year on back-to-school supplies, and one in two back-to-school shoppers is buying goods for someone other than themselves or their own children.
 
Forty-six percent of survey participants began researching more than two months prior to the start of the school year, and most of their purchases took place one to two months prior to the first day of class.
 
In addition, back-to-school shopping is becoming increasingly omnichannel. Fifty percent of back-to-school shoppers use online articles for research, while 30% use online videos for research. Furthermore, more than 50% of back-to-school shoppers use a mobile device during the process and more than 90% find the mobile internet helpful in making their shopping decisions.
 
Other notable findings include:
More than 75% of back-to-school shoppers actively seek promotions, most notably price discounts.
Two-thirds of shoppers plan to take advantage of back-to school promotions after school begins.
 
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Fruth Pharmacy unveils the Red Vest Award

BY Gina Acosta

POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — Fruth Pharmacy has created a special award to recognize the retailer's most outstanding employees.

Employees who have performed life-saving measures and who are nominated through an extensive process will be receiving the Red Vest Award.  The award will be publicly displayed on the recipient, as he/she be given an actual red vest and a lapel pin with the vest symbol.

Corporate personnel wanted the award to be a visual award, so Fruth employees, customers, and patients will easily be able to identify an employee that has gone above and beyond for a patient’s health and well being.

Stores in both Athens and Pomeroy, Ohio have employees that have qualified this year for this new, special recognition.  Employees will also receive a certificate for display, as well as have their name placed on a group award at the corporate office under the “Red Vest Club”.  This award is planned to be an annual award given at the Fruth Employee Service Awards Banquet held each fall.

When Rebecca Church, an employee at Fruth Pharmacy in Athens, stooped to pick up a customer’s keys – she had no idea she soon would be calling emergency personnel.

Church noticed something was not right with the customer.  She asked him to sit down on a bench to talk with her.  He dropped his keys about 10 times.  Eventually, she was able to get the keys out of his reach.  As she continued to talk to him, his speech became unintelligible.  She quickly called for an ambulance.

The emergency squad arrived and EMTs strongly urged the patient to go to the hospital.  Later that evening, Fruth Pharmacy received a call from the patient’s wife letting the employees know he had been life-flighted to Columbus.  He had been suffering from a massive stroke.  The wife had called to thank the person who had helped to save her husband’s life.

“We are hearing more and more stories like this from our employees,” Teresa Stapleton, human resources manager for Fruth Pharmacy shared. “Employees who earn this award exemplify Mr. Fruth’s legacy of giving back to the community. This is what sets Fruth apart from our competitors.”

Fruth Pharmacy has been a family owned company for over 63 years.  Currently, Fruth Pharmacy has 29 stores in West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky.  

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H-E-B launches Shipt grocery delivery in Texas

BY Gina Acosta

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — H-E-B is teaming up with Shipt, an app-based grocery delivery service that serves 25 major metropolitan areas across the country, to bring grocery delivery to customers across the state of Texas.

The service launches June 29 in Houston. Shipt is already operating in San Antonio H-E-B stores.

Through the Shipt app, members shop a full selection of groceries, note any preferences, choose a one-hour delivery window and pay for their order. Shipt connects members with a community of shoppers who hand pick their items and deliver them as soon as one hour after the order is placed.

“Over the past year, Shipt has rapidly introduced grocery delivery to cities across the country. We are one of the fastest-growing on-demand services in the United States, and H-E-B is the type of grocer with whom we seek to partner due to their commitment to quality food, excellent customer service and dedication to their local communities,” said Bill Smith, founder and CEO of Shipt. “Through our partnership with H-E-B, we will make life easier for busy individuals and families, while creating jobs across Texas. We care deeply about serving H-E-B customers and the communities in which we operate, and look forward to providing our members with more time to focus on the things they care about most.”

In addition to providing grocery delivery from H-E-B stores 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, Shipt will also partner with Central Market to provide on-demand grocery delivery. Through the partnership, H-E-B and Central Market customers will be able to select and purchase their groceries through Shipt’s mobile app and schedule delivery as soon as one hour after placing their orders. Orders then will be fulfilled by Shipt’s community of shoppers who select items and deliver them.

“H-E-B has provided high-quality groceries to Texans for more than 110 years. We are connected to our customers throughout all of our markets, and always are looking for new ways to make the grocery shopping experience more convenient,” said Greg Souquette, senior vice president and general manager of San Antonio operations at H-E-B. “Shipt shares this commitment, as well as our belief in community development and engagement, which is why we are thrilled to announce this new partnership.”

 

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