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In wake of card data breach, Target offers free credit monitoring to customers

BY Alaric DeArment

MINNEAPOLIS — Target is offering free credit monitoring for a year for customers who shop at its stores, the mass merchandise retailer said Monday.

Target said it had contracted with ProtectMyID, a division of Experian, which will offer daily credit monitoring, identity theft insurance and access to assistance from fraud resolution agents, as well as a complimentary credit report. Customers have until April 23 to request an activation code, and then until April 30 to register for credit monitoring through ProtectMyID.

The offer is being made in the wake of a massive credit breach at the retailer, in which the payment card data of some 40 million customers was stolen between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15. On Friday, Target said up to 70 million customers also had information like names, addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses stolen as well, which it had discovered as part of an investigation of the original breach.

 

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Rite Aid donates 15,000 cases of water following W.Va., chemical spill

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid’s philanthropic arm will donate water for areas of West Virginia affected by a recent chemical spill, the retail pharmacy chain said Saturday.

The Rite Aid Foundation announced the donation of 15,000 cases of water to the American Red Cross West Virginia Region to assist communities around Charleston, W.Va., currently under a water ban resulting from a chemical spill that contaminated the area’s water supply, affecting about 300,000 people in a nine-county area.

"One of Rite Aid’s core values is to be a caring neighbor, and that’s especially true in times of need," Rite Aid president and COO Ken Martindale, who is also president of the Rite Aid Foundation, said. "Clean water is crucial for many everyday activities as well as the health and wellness of a community. It’s our hope that our donation will help make life a little bit safer and easier for the people affected by the water ban."

The Associated Press reported Monday that residents of affected areas were still having to use bottled water to wash, cook and brush their teeth, but that officials had said the ban on using tap water would soon be lifted, and that levels had fallen below a dangerous threshold over the weekend. The chemical, known as 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, has a licorice-like smell and is used in coal processing.

 

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Auto replenishment potentially makes CVS/pharmacy’s Family Vitamin Center a supplement gamechanger

BY Michael Johnsen

With the launch of Family Vitamin Center, CVS/pharmacy created a new health hub on CVS.com to help educate customers on the vitamins and supplements that can support their personal health goals. The site is designed to declutter the dietary supplement aisle with features like an interactive questionnaire and guidance tools that provide personalized supplement recommendations. It also allows users to shop by goal, such as heart health or immune support, and get the latest health tips. And perhaps most important, there’s an automatic replenishment program. 

It’s a smart play. Those who supplement regularly fall into one of two categories — they’re supplementing as part of a major lifestyle improvement change, or they’re supplementing because they’re already living that healthier lifestyle. In either case, you’ve got a consumer looking for — and willing to pay for — healthier solutions. CVS/pharmacy is positioning itself to be that solution. 

According to a Council for Responsible Nutrition survey, 68% of adults take dietary supplements, and those supplement users are more likely than non-supplement users to also engage in certain other healthy habits, which is otherwise known as, they’re in the market for healthy solutions. The demographics are nice, too. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, half of everyone between the ages of 31 and 50 supplement. And 65% of anyone between the ages of 51 and 70 supplement. 

And more and more, these healthier lifestyle consumers are shopping online. In GNC’s last quarterly conference call, president and CEO Joseph Fortunato noted that GNC’s online growth trajectory is double that of the e-commerce industry growth rates, which was running pretty close to 15%. 

But the kicker in all of this is the automatic replenishment program. It’s a feature that borrows successfully from the subscription-based services of Amazon.com, Dollarshaveclub and others. Sales of vitamins and diet aids — which represent the kind of chronic needs for which Amazon’s subscription service "Subscribe & Save," and now CVS/pharmacy’s Family Vitamin Center, would become a differentiated convenience — account for more than 29.2% of all OTC medicines sold and represent $10.2 billion in sales.

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