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Walgreens brings #ItEndsWithUs to Chicago

BY Michael Johnsen

Walgreens on Wednesday announced its national #ItEndsWithUs campaign is coming to Chicago to educate local teens on the opioid epidemic.

As part of WE Day Illinois at The Allstate Arena in Rosemont, 15,000 youth will hear real stories of addiction and how Walgreens is working to combat the nation’s opioid epidemic. The #ItEndsWithUs campaign objective is to provide teens with resources and positive steps they can take in their community, which are available at the #ItEndsWithUs hub at www.walgreens.com/itendswithus.

The campaign will feature actor Brandon Larracuente from the popular Netflix series, “13 Reasons Why” and “Bloodline.” Larracuente, who lost a close friend to opioid addiction, will speak via video message to introduce the #ItEndsWithUs campaign. Larracuente will also introduce Becky Savage, a local mother who had two sons die from opioid overdose in the same night. The video above features Savage.

Savage is now working with Walgreens to educate teens on the risks of opioids.

“I believe there’s power in knowledge and that we can make a difference by talking about opioid misuse and abuse,” said Savage. “If my sons understood the risk of opioid overdose, I’m sure they would have made a different choice that night. I hope to raise more awareness through the #ItEndsWithUs campaign.”

Of the 2,278 Illinois statewide drug overdose deaths during 2016, more than 80% (1,826) were opioid-related fatalities.

Walgreens has also installed safe medication disposal kiosks in 600 of its pharmacies across 45 states and is in the process of expanding its program to an additional 900 Walgreens across the country. When the expansion is complete, safe medication disposal kiosks will be available in 1,500 Walgreens nationwide, including 80 locations throughout Illinois.

“We continue to be truly inspired by the response of the safe medication disposal program from communities around the country,” Rick Gates, Walgreens senior vice president of pharmacy and healthcare, said. “We are excited to continue our expansion program and believe it serves as an excellent example of health care organizations coming together in collaboration to address a real health crisis facing the country.”

Following WE Day Illinois, Walgreens will continue to create awareness on the opioid epidemic at its final WE Day event in Seattle on May 3, 2018. This event follows the campaign’s previous stops at WE Day California in Los Angeles, WE Day Texas in Dallas and launch at WE Day UN in New York City in September 2017.

 

 

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Supervalu puts Shop ’n Save on auction block

BY Marianne Wilson

Amid pressure from activist investors and its continuing focus on its wholesale ops, Supervalu is putting another of its grocery brands on the selling block.

The grocery wholesaler and retailer announced it is pursuing the sale of its corporately owned and operated Shop ’n Save banner, whose two divisions operate stores in St. Louis, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The company recently announced plans to sell its Farm Fresh banner. (After the sales, Supervalu’s retail banners will include Cub Foods, Hornbacher’s and Shoppers.

Supervalu also said it is selling eight of its distribution centers. The centers, which together account for some 5.8 million sq. ft., are being sold to an undisclosed buyer for approximately $483 million. Supervalu will enter into lease-back agreements for each of the centers after the sale. (In October, activist shareholders, including Blackwells Capital, urged Supervalu to unlock the value of its owned real estate.)

The announcements came as the company reported that its revenue jumped 42% in the fourth quarter, to $3.59 billion. The increase largely credited to Supervalu’s acquisitions of Unified Grocers in California and Associated Grocers of Florida.

Supervalu’s wholesale segment revenue rose 60% to $2.87 billion. Retail segment sales fell 0.6% to $694 million. In fiscal 2018, wholesale accounted for 78% of total sales.

“Already in the first two months of fiscal 2019, we’ve capitalized on our business momentum by taking several decisive, strategic actions that further our transformation,” said president and CEO Mark Gross. “These include exiting our Farm Fresh banner, the announcement that we’re pursuing the sale of our Shop ‘n Save and Shop ‘n Save East retail operations, and the monetization of approximately $483 million in owned real estate. With a growing wholesale business and more stable group of retail stores, we believe Supervalu is well positioned for success. While we still have more work to do, we remain optimistic about our ability to grow our core wholesale business and create long-term shareholder value.”

With the planned sale of Shop ’n Save, Supervalu’s retail banners will include Cub Foods, Hornbacher’s and Shoppers.

In the fourth quarter, Supervalu reported net earnings including non-controlling interests of $33 million, including $25 million of net earnings from continuing operations and $8 million of income from discontinued operations, net of tax. Diluted net earnings per share attributed to Supervalu were 86 cents, which was better than analysts had expected.

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Chicagoland moving up in Red Nose rankings, Walgreens reports

BY Michael Johnsen

In support of the fourth annual Red Nose Day in the U.S., Walgreens on Wednesday released the latest rankings for its Every One Counts Hometown Challenge, which still shows Atlanta as the top market for overall Red Nose Day fundraising activity.

But Chicago is closing in on Atlanta’s top spot in the Every One Counts ranking based on the latest data for the week ended April 16.

The challenge features 10 U.S. markets – deemed Walgreens ‘Red Rally Markets’ for their integral role in helping to rally their communities to help end child poverty – going nose-to-nose in a challenge to raise the most money for the Red Nose Day cause during the eight-week campaign.

Following Red Nose Day, which takes place May 24 with a special night of programming on NBC, Walgreens will announce the winner of the challenge with a formal proclamation to the victorious city, designated as “Red Nose Day Hometown Hero” for the next 12 months.

The Hometown Challenge Progress Report for week of April 16 is:

  1. Atlanta;
  2. Miami;
  3. Washington;
  4. Phoenix;
  5. Chicago;
  6. Los Angeles;
  7. Seattle;
  8. Philadelphia;
  9. Newark, N.J./New York City; and
  10. Houston.

The weekly rankings are compiled using store-level data for combined Red Nose Day sales (Red Noses and Red Nose Day related merchandise) across Walgreens store locations in designated Red Rally markets. Data for the progress report is analyzed at a geographic market level to measure total store performance of Red Nose Day sales.

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