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Walgreens expresses support of diversity in series of YouTube videos

BY Michael Johnsen

 
 
DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Thursday released a series of YouTube videos explaining facets of the chain's operations — healthcare, omnichannel retailing and store operations — and how each of those areas support diverse communities. 
 
"Walgreens is meeting the critical needs of healthcare access by doing two things from a service or needs perspective," said Jeff Kang, Walgreens SVP health and wellness. The first is helping the uninsured get health insurance on the Health Exchange. And second, Walgreens provides convenient access to basic primary care services in its stores. But more important, Walgreens provider base of pharmacists and practitioners is culturally diverse. "That's really the power of Walgreens," Kang added. "Through our stores we actually mirror the communities we're serving, speak their language, reflect their race and cultures, and that's really what makes us very effective in meeting the critical needs of healthcare access in this country."
 
 

 
Sona Chawla, president, digital and chief marketing officer for Walgreens, explained how Walgreens serves a diverse customer base utilizing deep customer insights. "Our customer insights help us understand how … customer behavior is evolving," she said. "We're able to do what Charles Walgreen envisioned all the way back in 1901, provide that kind of unique and distinct customer care [and] we're able to scale that across our 8,000-plus locations and all of our different channels."
 
 

 
"Walgreens supports economic development in many of America's diverse communities," said Mark Wagner, president, operations and community management for Walgreens, on the company's commitment to supplier diversity and economic development. Walgreens does that in a number of ways, Wagner said, including the hiring of a diverse community to both build and staff its stores, as well as buying goods and services from minority-owned and woman-owned companies. "There's no other retailer that has the reach into the diverse communities across America like Walgreens, so when we say we can move the needle, we can move it in a big way."
 
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Apple Pay to go live Oct. 20

BY Michael Johnsen

CUPERTINO, Calif. — Apple announced Thursday that customers can start making payments with the touch of a finger on Monday, Oct. 20 when Apple Pay becomes available in the United States at retailers including Walgreens. 
 
“Our team has worked incredibly hard to make Apple Pay private and secure, with the simplicity of a single touch of your finger,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s SVP internet software and services. “The reaction to Apple Pay has been amazing. We continue to add more Apple Pay ready banks, credit card companies and merchants, and think our users will love paying with Apple Pay.”
 
“We are very proud to be able to offer this to our customers as soon as it goes live on Oct. 20,” said Jo Natale, Wegmans' director of media relations.  “Apple Pay is easy to use and secure — two things that we know are very important to our customers.” 
 
Apple Pay supports credit and debit cards from the three major payment networks — American Express, MasterCard and Visa — issued by the top U.S. banks which make up 83% of the credit card purchase volume in the United States.
 
In addition to the 262 Apple retail stores in the United States, availability from leading retailers at launch include: Aéropostale, American Eagle Outfitters, Babies”R”Us, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Bloomingdale’s, Champs Sports, Chevron and Texaco retail stores including ExtraMile, Disney Store, Duane Reade, Footaction, Foot Locker, House of Hoops by Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker, Macy’s, McDonald’s, Nike, Office Depot, Panera Bread, Petco, RadioShack, RUN by Foot Locker, SIX:02, Sports Authority, SUBWAY, Toys”R”Us, Unleashed by Petco, Walgreens, Wegmans and Whole Foods Market. In addition, many other retailers will add support this year, such as Anthropologie, Free People, Sephora, Staples, Urban Outfitters, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.
 
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H.D. Smith deploys cutting-edge pricing technology

BY Michael Johnsen

 
 
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — H.D. Smith is employing cutting-edge pricing technology through SAP, the wholesaler noted on Tuesday in a video posting. "The pricing engine that we've deployed keeps track of all the conditions that affect price," said David Guzman, H.D. Smith CIO. "On any given day, we'll process somewhere between 2 million and 10 million price permutations," he said. 
 
That number quickly climbs to 40 million pricing changes during specific events, such as the implementation of a new contract, he said. 
 
"The predetermined pricing engine is what gives us the realization of benefits to our business in terms of reducing day sales outstanding, reducing inventory levels, increasing service levels," he said. "Those are real value drivers for our company."
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