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Walgreens expands retail pharmacy, omnichannel technology teams

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Tuesday announced with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel that it will bring approximately 300 technology positions to its current downtown Chicago office in the Sullivan Center to establish a new technology center of excellence.

Walgreens is currently building out its space in the Sullivan Center to host the new center of excellence, which will host much of the company’s retail pharmacy technology team along with the digital, mobile and e-commerce technology teams that currently work there.

“We are excited to bring more technology jobs to the City of Chicago and establish a technology center of excellence that will focus on delivering state-of-the-art systems to our more than 8,000 drugstores nationwide,” stated Alex Gourlay, president of Walgreens. “Chicago is where Walgreens began as a single drug store in 1901, and expanding our downtown presence will help us retain and attract the best talent to continue developing our digital and technology capabilities.”

Walgreens already employs more than 3,500 people in the City of Chicago, where it operates 136 drug stores.

“Chicago and Walgreens have a long and shared history of innovation and ingenuity,” Mayor Emanuel said. “That history makes Chicago the perfect city for Walgreens to locate 300 jobs and make an investment in its future.”

 

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Catalina names Tom Corley to key leadership role

BY DSN STAFF

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Shopper intelligence and personalized digital media company Catalina on Monday named a longtime CPG veteran to a key position. The company named Tom Corley, who has held leadership positions at Acosta and Kraft Foods, its global chief retail officer and president of U.S. retail. In his new role, Corley will oversee Catalina’s U.S. retail business and provide additional leadership to its retail market teams in Europe and Japan. 

"We are excited to welcome Tom to our leadership team," Catalina CEO Andy Heyman said. "Catalina is focused on expanding our capabilities and value proposition to help retailers efficiently grow and meet the opportunities of a fast-changing marketplace. Tom brings a fresh perspective to those efforts and a deep understanding of how to drive win-win relationships between CPG manufacturers and retailers given his extensive experience working with both parts of our network."

Corley’s background includes nearly 30 years in senior leadership positions at Kraft Foods, including such roles as EVP, president of sales and foodservice. Before joining Catalina, he was COO Acosta, which provides sales, marketing and retail solutions for CPG companies and retailers.

"Catalina is creating exciting new opportunities for retailers to connect with shoppers to build loyalty and engagement,” Catalina global go-to-market president Todd Morris said. "Tom is the right person to drive those innovations forward and build even deeper partnerships with our retailers."

Currently, Catalina reaches more than 528 million shoppers with personalized digital and in-store marketing solutions for retailers and CPG brands across more than 53,000 stores globally. The company’s shopper analytics are driven by a 150-person team, and it is investing in innovations to build value for retailers and their shoppers, Catalina said.

"I am excited about the value Catalina delivers to its customers and in the investments it continues to make in advancing its technology to drive shopper intelligence for retailers," Corley said. "Catalina has an unparalleled opportunity to broaden the importance it plays for retailers as they work to more effectively engage shoppers, including the 97 percent of households that shop at brick and mortar stores every week."

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Target makes Google Home voice-ordering available nationwide

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

MINNEAPOLIS — Target shoppers across the United States can now place an order using just their voice.

Deepening its relationship with Google, the discounter is expanding its Google Express program nationwide. The home delivery shopping service enables customers to use their Google Assistant in their Google Express app or website, Google Home device or Android TV to conduct voice-assisted shopping from a variety of retailers — including Target. The program’s breadth will expand even further next year when Google Assistant is available on eligible Android phones and iPhones, Target said.

The program, which started as a pilot in California and New York City, is now available across the continental United States. Target shoppers who meet a $35 minimum are also eligible for free shipping. Orders are picked from Target store shelves, and arrive in two days, according to the retailer.

“In the markets where we’ve offered Google Express, guests tell us they love the ease and convenience of shopping Target through Google. So we’re excited to offer this service nationwide in time for the busy holiday season,” said Mike McNamara, Target’s chief information and digital officer.

The move comes on the heels of Walmart’s partnership with Google that makes hundreds of thousands of items available for voice shopping via Google Assistant. At the time of the deal, Walmart had the largest number of items currently offered by a retailer through the platform.

Not to be outdone, Target has even bigger plans for its collaboration with Google. “Target and Google teams are working on the next chapter, building experiences that digitally replicate the joy of shopping a Target store to discover stylish and affordable products,” McNamara said.

While details are still in the works, one experience set launch in 2018 includes using voice and other innovative solutions to strengthen the retailer’s style categories, such as home, apparel and beauty. Another service will enable Target customers to link their online accounts with Google. This will allow them to receive personalized recommendations, and quickly re-order merchandise based on past Target purchases.

Also planned for 2018 is the integration of the discounter’s REDcard credit and debit cards into the mix. This gives Google Express customers 5% off of most Target purchases, and entitles them to free shipping.

The partners are also working on a program that gives shoppers the option to pick up their orders at a Target store within two hours.

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