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Tesco launches surprise soft opening

BY Doug Desjardins

HEMET, Calif. Tesco opened its first U.S. store ahead of schedule this morning with a soft opening of its store in Hemet, Calif., a small town 75 miles southeast of Los Angeles and 30 miles from its main distribution center in Riverside, Calif.

Tesco said it needed to open one Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market ahead of its six-store grand opening on Nov. 8 “to test the systems in the store” with real customers. Hemet was among the six stores due to open Nov. 8 in Southern California with locations in Los Angeles, Upland, Anaheim, West Covina and Arcadia.

Tesco’s small format stores will not have pharmacies but are focused on healthy living. The stores will sell a wide array of healthy, prepared meals and will not carry cigarettes or tobacco. Tesco has a second round of five openings planned for Nov. 14 in Las Vegas and intends to move into San Diego and Las Vegas by the end of November.

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NACDS ranked a top place to work

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. A bi-weekly newsletter has named the National Association of Chain Drug Stores as one of the “Top Places to Work in Associations and Nonprofits.”

CEO Update, a publication that focused on jobs, news and people in the association and nonprofit world, conducted a recent survey “for nonprofit groups and associations across the country to rate their benefits, culture and work environment.” The publication concluded that NACDS had multiple benefits, including the company’s paid leave policy and tuition benefits.

“Particularly in Washington, D.C., where many associations are headquartered, the nonprofit industry competes with the government and the private sector for talent,” the Oct. 26 issue said of NACDS. “And in a tight labor market, with less than 3 percent unemployment in the nation’s capital, recruitment becomes a race for how to snag the best candidates, with a combination of adequate pay and great benefits.”

NACDS president and chief executive officer, Steve Anderson, said that under the leadership of its vice president of human resources and administration, NACDS is “committed to fostering a positive and family-friendly work environment that enables us to attract and retain top talent.”

“With the thousands of associations and not-for-profit organizations across the country, I hope our members feel great pride about this recognition,” Anderson said Thursday. “Through our superb staff, we are able to provide outstanding member services and advocacy for our industry.”

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Walgreens says “Aloha” to Hawaii

BY Allison Cerra

HONOLULU Walgreens opened its first Hawaii store on Thursday with a traditional Hawaiian blessing.

The new store, a former Tower Records site, is the first of four Hawaii stores Walgreens plans to open in the next year. The nation’s largest drug store chain plans eventually to open as many as 30 stores in Hawaii.

The chain intends to place stores in Kalihi and Kaneohe on Oahu, and in Lahaina on Maui.

The 9,000-square-foot store, which will be open 24 hours a day, is smaller than typical Walgreens stores. The other stores planned on Oahu and Maui will be new constructions.

“More than 100 years ago our founder, Charles Walgreen Sr., would remind his customers, ‘You’re always welcome at Walgreens,’” Dana Psomas, Walgreens district manager for Hawaii, said in a statement. “Today, as we open our doors in Hawaii for the first time, we’re adapting that saying to, ‘E komo mai.’”

Clark Fujihara, Walgreen’s district pharmacy supervisor for Hawaii, emphasized the importance of having Walgreens present in the state, citing the ever-increasing demand for pharmacy services, and stated that services that are not currently offered in the state will be, such as drive-through pharmacies.

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