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Target fast-tracks store remodel plans

BY Marianne Wilson

Target’s plan to remodel more than 1,000 stores nationwide by the end of 2020 is going into overdrive.

The discounter remodeled some 110 locations last year. It is nearly tripling the number in 2018, with plans to complete about 325 additional remodels. Target’s largest remodel market this year will be its Minneapolis-St. Paul hometown, where it is investing $250 million to remodel 28 stores, which represents about half of its footprint in the area.

“We’ll also go big in places like Los Angeles, New York and Chicago,” Target stated. “Over the next few years, we’ll remodel stores in every major city.”

Last year, Target went big on remodels in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and its learnings from that market are influencing the next wave of designs. For instance, it added nursing rooms in about 40 remodeled stores. Shoppers were so appreciative of the space that the company is putting the dedicated rooms in every remodeled location in 2018.

Target noted that each remodel is tailored to meet the specific needs of local shoppers, so no two remodels look exactly alike. General enhancements include background music, a modern design aesthetic across the store, and updated merchandise presentations, including areas that showcase trends and top-of-mind products for the season.

In addition, many stores will have features that help them get online orders to shoppers faster, including a larger order pickup counter or a drive up lane in the parking lot.

In line with its sustainability efforts, Target said it will continue to add features like LED lighting and solar panels to many of its locations.

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Walgreens earns URAC accreditation in Specialty Pharmacy

BY Michael Johnsen

Walgreens has earned URAC accreditation in Specialty Pharmacy at select Walgreens community-based specialty pharmacy sites across the United States.

“We are honored to have been granted this prestigious and respected accreditation from URAC in communities from Honolulu and Sacramento to Wilmington, Boston, and New York, and other markets in between, covering a majority of the nation,” Rina Shah, vice president of pharmacy operations, Walgreens, said. “Receiving accreditation from URAC, the independent not-for-profit leader in healthcare quality, is a true symbol of excellence in specialty pharmacy.”

“It’s necessary for specialty pharmacies to provide a higher level of treatment for patients so desired outcomes are achieved,” Kylanne Geen, president and CEO URAC, said. “Walgreens shows a dedication to patient education and safety through the recognition of quality it received with URAC’s independent accreditation. With URAC accreditation, people know that Walgreens strives to adhere to industry best practices.”

Walgreens community-based specialty sites on hospital campuses and in communities throughout the country are unique to the industry and offer unparalleled access to medications and personalized service.

URAC is the independent leader in promoting healthcare quality through accreditation, certification and measurement. By achieving this status, Walgreens has demonstrated a comprehensive commitment to quality care, improved processes and better patient outcomes.

URAC is a nonprofit organization developing evidence-based measures and standards through inclusive engagement with a range of stakeholders committed to improving the quality of healthcare. The agency’s portfolio of accreditation and certification programs span the healthcare industry, addressing healthcare management, healthcare operations, health plans, pharmacies, telehealth providers and physician practices. URAC accreditation is a symbol of excellence for organizations to showcase their validated commitment to quality and accountability.

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Costco tops Indeed’s pay, benefits ranking

BY Marianne Wilson

Retailers took four out of the top 10 spots in a ranking of the best companies to work for — as ranked by employees — with regards to compensation and benefits.

Costco Wholesale Club claims the top spot in the ranking by Indeed, a job review site. The warehouse club chain took the No. 1 spot by paying well above the typical salary that other retail companies pay, even for entry-level workers, according to Indeed.

“They have a graduated wage program that’s based purely on total hours worked. Show up, do your job and your pay goes up on its own,” said one Costco employee.

Employee also praised Costco for its family-based philosophy, great treatment of its employees and concern for their well-being.

Indeed cited the remarks of one employee to explain the retailer’s top ranking: “Costco believes that employees are the most important assets in the company.”

In coming up with the list, Indeed, which has over 18 million company reviews in its database, including companies with at least 600 reviews between January 2016 through January 2018. In addition to compensation, Indeed considered factors such as hourly pay, health care, dental care, parental leave and company matching for retirement plans.

“These companies are the most highly rated on compensation and benefits by users who were either employed by the company at the time of review or was employed there within the past three years,” Indeed stated.

The other retailers that made the top ten were grocers, HEB (No. 7) and Aldi (No. 8). Starbucks ranked No. 9. Another supermarket retailer, Publix, came in at No. 11.

Here are the top 15 companies on the Indeed list:

  1. Costco Wholesale Club
  2. Kaiser Permanente
  3. Verizon
  4. FedEx Express
  5. Apple
  6. Capital One
  7. Aldi
  8. HEB
  9. Starbucks
  10. General Motors
  11. Publix
  12. Intel
  13. Boeing
  14. Microsoft
  15. AT&T

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