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Walgreens increases convenience of Apple Pay

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — In what could be an important step for mobile payment, Walgreens is expanding the Apple Pay functionality it provides customers.
 
Members of Walgreens’ Balance Rewards program can now seamlessly use their account through Apple Pay, without separately scanning a Balance Rewards card or barcode. Members will have the ability to earn and redeem loyalty points via Apple Pay by adding the Balance Rewards digital card to the Wallet app in iOS 9 and using it at checkout.
 
Members can hold their iPhone near the contactless reader with a finger on Touch ID and the appropriate rewards information will be sent. On Apple Watch, they can double-click the side button, select their Balance Rewards card, and hold the face of Apple Watch up to the reader.
 
“We’re excited to be the first to provide our customers with increased ease of access to their Balance Rewards account and information when using Apple Pay,” said Sona Chawla, president of digital and chief marketing officer for Walgreens. “This offering supports our commitment to removing friction and enabling a simple and convenient customer experience.”
 
While Apple Pay has been available for a little more than a year, usage rates are still low. Walgreens is the first retailer to increase the convenience and usability of Apple Pay by integrating its loyalty program with the mobile payment service. The more than 85 million active Balance Rewards members will now have another reason to join Apple Pay, or use an existing account.
 
Loyalty integration is not guaranteed to boost Apple Pay usage at Walgreens, but Apple, as well as other mobile payment providers and retailers, will be watching carefully. If this proves to be the impetus for consumers to finally start using mobile payment in large numbers, expect integrated loyalty at a lot of other retailers and also with a lot of other mobile payment solutions.
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Find out which stores Target is closing next year

BY Gina Acosta

MINNEAPOLIS — Target is taking steps to right-size its portfolio by closing 13 money-losing stores on Jan. 30, according to a report from the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal.

The decision to close a Target store is not made lightly,” spokesperson Kristy Welker told the publication. “We typically decide to close a store after careful consideration of the long-term financial performance of a particular location. Typically, the decision to close a store is as a result of seeing several years of decreasing profitability."

Read more about Target's store closings by clicking here.

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FMI’s Cathy Polley passes after battle with cancer

BY Michael Johnsen

ARLINGTON, Va. — Cathy Polley, VP health and wellness at the Food Marketing Institute and executive director for the FMI Foundation, passed earlier this week from cancer. 
 
"I live my life to the fullest. We only get so much time in this earth, so wasting it is not an option. I try to surround myself with those who want to join me in making a difference every single day," Polley told the organization Disruptive Women in Healthcare, which had named Polley a "Woman to Watch" in 2014. 
 
Polley started her career in 1982 as a pharmacist for eight of her 19 years with Kmart and worked her way toward director, government and trade relations for the mass market retailer. She joined the National Association of Chain Drug Stores in 2001 as VP state government affairs and continued as a staunch advocate for pharmacy with the American Pharmacists Association as SVP, chief policy officer in 2007. 
 
Later that year, she joined the Food Marketing Institute and has both promoted in-store health and wellness solutions through the food class of trade and spearheaded FMI's support of research and education since.
 
"Leading the association’s health and wellness area gives me the opportunity to work with food retailers across the nation on efforts that combine pharmacy, nutrition and marketing and deliver in-store solutions for their shoppers looking to achieve healthier lifestyles," Polley told Disruptive Women in Healthcare. "I am fortunate to work on creative initiatives that help food retailers deliver against their health and wellness strategies." 
 
Polley was a former member of the Michigan Board of Pharmacy and earned her pharmacy degree from the University of Michigan.
 
Funeral services for Cathy Polley will be held on Nov. 9 at 11 a.m. at St. Mary of Sorrows Catholic Church in Fairfax, Va. There will be a visitation with the family from 9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Interment will be private. 
 
Polley's family has indicated for those wishing to provide a memorial in her name that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to www.ovariancancer.org.
 
 
 

 

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reder@lf.com says:
Nov-06-2015 04:35 pm

As we remember the passing of FMI’s Cathy Polley, no one could have said it better than Cathy herself: "I live my life to the fullest. We only get so much time in this earth, so wasting it is not an option. I try to surround myself with those who want to join me in making a difference every single day." That’s what Cathy told the organization Disruptive Women in Healthcare, which named Polley a "Woman to Watch" in 2014. 

For DSN's money Cathy Polley was a “Woman to Watch” from the day she entered our industry as a Kmart pharmacist in 1982 until the sad day this November that she was called from this world to the next. She was a friend and a partner, and Drug Store News will miss her terribly. Her family is in our prayers.

 

D.BELL says:
Nov-05-2015 12:45 pm

A wonderful woman and the best of friends. Cathy you will be missed.

D.FONG says:
Nov-05-2015 12:24 pm

I am so saddened to hear about Cathy's passing and my deepest condolescences to her family. Cathy has always been a class act, well respected, and committed on making a difference in our industry. She will be missed by all of us.

D.WENDLAND says:
Nov-04-2015 02:24 pm

Cathy was a fearless leader in the health/wellness industry and certainly demonstrated her determination as she battled her relentless cancer. I am saddened by her loss and wish her surviving family, coworkers, and friends comfort that comes from knowing that Cathy is no longer in pain. The void in our industry will be a difficult one to fill.

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