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Target pilots curbside pick-up

BY Marianne Wilson

MINNEAPOLIS — Target is testing curbside pickup in its home base.

The discounter has launched the service, called Drive Up, at its stores in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. The retailer described the program as the latest example of how Target is using its stores as hubs to help customers shop “on their own terms.”

Here’s how it works: After placing an order in the Target app and selecting “Drive Up,” Target notifies customers when the order is ready to be picked up. Customers hit the “I’m on My Way” button en route to their store, park in a designated spot, and then a Target employee brings the order out to their car.

“Drive Up is our latest effort to make it easier and faster for busy guests to conveniently get what they need, and simply get back to their day," said Dawn Block, Target senior VP of digital.

More than 200,000 items, including home furnishings, toys, electronics, household essentials, non-perishable food, and baby-care, are eligible for the service. Produce and refrigerated or frozen items are not eligible, the StarTribune reported, and no minimum order is required for the free service.

The Drive Up program was built in house by Target.

"It’s a test-and-learn program, so we’ll continue to fine-tune and enhance the experience, and will look to expand to more guests in the future," Target stated.

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Walmart makes last-mile delivery acquisition in NYC

BY Marianne Wilson
BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart is determined not to be bested by Amazon when it comes to same-day delivery.
 
The discounter announced on Tuesday that it has acquired Parcel, a last-mile delivery startup that specializes in delivery of perishable items and general merchandise to customers in New York City. Operating out of a warehouse in Brooklyn, Parcel delivers goods the same-day, overnight and in scheduled two-hour windows, providing customers with live updates via text messages throughout the delivery process. 
 
The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition comes as Walmart's Jet.com has been testing free same-day delivery of certain orders to customers in New York City.
 
"We can build upon that, and plan to leverage Parcel for last-mile delivery to customers in New York City — including same-day delivery — for both general merchandise as well as fresh and frozen groceries from Walmart and Jet," Nate Faust, senior VP, Walmart U.S. eCommerce supply chain, wrote on the company's website. 
 
The extreme density of the New York City area makes it a complicated market for delivery. Walmart will now be able to tap into Parcel'shomegrownn familiarity with the market. (According to Recode, Parcel, which was founded in 2013, has compiled a database of every New York City building it has delivered to, including photos and detailed information on service entrances.)
 
"Born and bred in New York City, Parcel has developed unique expertise delivering to customers in a distinctly challenging and essential market," Faust said. "This acquisition allows us to continue testing ways to offer fast delivery while lowering our operating costs."
 
Parcel will also continue to service and grow its current clients, Walmart said. The company has partnerships with several meal kit, grocery and e-commerce companies. 

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Rite Aid kicks off Pharmacy Champions program

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. — In celebration of American Pharmacists Month, this October Rite Aid is recognizing its more than 11,000 pharmacists for all they do to care for their patients and communities throughout the year.

"Our pharmacy teams are passionate about their customers and they show this each and every day, in big and little ways," stated Jocelyn Konrad, Rite Aid EVP pharmacy. "From navigating an insurance issue to providing a flu shot to counseling a patient on a new medication, in Rite Aid's eyes and in the eyes of those they care for, our pharmacy teams truly are champions," she said. "We couldn't be more grateful for all they do and our Pharmacy Champions program is great way to recognize and thank our pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and wellness ambassadors for the caring moments they create for their customers, patients and communities."

From now through Oct. 31, through Rite Aid's Pharmacy Champions program, customers can recognize any Rite Aid pharmacist, pharmacy technician or wellness ambassador that has gone above and beyond by providing exceptional service by completing a nomination form online at www.riteaid.com/recognize.

Entries will be reviewed by a panel of judges who will select two Rite Aid pharmacy team member winners, a winning Rite Aid pharmacist and a winning Rite Aid pharmacy technician or wellness ambassador, and both will receive $2,500 in Rite Aid gift cards. Additionally, the two customers who recognized the winning Rite Aid pharmacy team members will receive $2,500 in Rite Aid gift cards.

All Rite Aid pharmacy team members recognized by customers will receive Pharmacy Champion lapel pin and a letter of commendation from Konrad and Bryan Everett, COO Rite Aid Stores.

In addition, Rite Aid will recognize its pharmacy technicians on National Pharmacy Technician Day on Oct. 17 for the support they provide to Rite Aid pharmacists and customers. The company will also honor its RediClinic nurse practitioners for the care they provide to Rite Aid patients during National Nurse Practitioner Week, which begins on Sunday, Nov. 12.

"Our pharmacy technicians, who often are the first to interact with patients, provide crucial support to our pharmacists, and in our locations with RediClinics, we're able to deliver an additional level of care through the expertise of our nurse practitioners," Konrad said. "On behalf of our patients and company, we thank both our pharmacy technicians and nurse practitioners for helping us further deliver on our mission of improving the health and wellness of our communities we serve."

For nearly 15 years, Rite Aid has offered a recognition program as a way for customers a way to recognize members of Rite Aid's pharmacy team that have provided superior care and service. This year, Rite Aid renamed its long-standing Vote for Your Favorite Pharmacy Team Member program to Pharmacy Champions in honor of the Rite Aid pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and wellness ambassadors who champion the health of their customers, patients and communities.
 

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