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Walgreens’ Greg Wasson and Sona Chawla talk omnichannel retailing at Shop.org Annual Summit 2013

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson and Sona Chawla, Walgreens president e-commerce, on Wednesday made a keynote presentation on the closing day of the Shop.org Annual Summit 2013 here to talk about the opportunities associated with omnichannel retailing.  

Walgreens has successfully placed its shingle where their patients are, which more and more means a virtual corner location in cyberspace. According to a blog post by Jessica Elenstar on blog.shop.org, 45 million shoppers visit a Walgreens store, and 14 million visit Walgreens online or on mobile. 

"Our median mobile customer is a 45-year-old woman," Wasson told Summit attendees. "Our median desktop web customer is a 52-year-old woman. … Walgreen customers are in fact leading the digital, mobile revolution."

And it’s not just Walgreens’ broad customer base that are tech savvy, the company’s employees are learning new ways tablet and smartphone technology can help them do their jobs better and more efficiently. 

For Shop.org’s full one-hour presentation, click here

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Green Equity Investors exchanges nearly 1.9 million shares of Rite Aid preferred stock for common stock

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. – A private equity firm that is a major Rite Aid shareholder has exchanged its preferred stocks for common stock, according to a regulatory filing.

According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Los Angeles-based Green Equity Investors exchanged nearly 1.9 million shares of 6% Series H preferred stock and 7.75 shares of Series G preferred stock for about 40 million shares of common stock, which was trading at $5.20 per share on the New York Stock Exchange Friday morning, up 2.34% from its opening price, for a total value of about $208 million, or 4.4% of the company’s total stock.

At most publicly traded companies, including Rite Aid, holders of preferred stock have different rights from holders of common stock. At the company’s annual meeting earlier this year, Series G and Series H preferred stockholders voted as a single class for one member of the board of directors, while holders of common stock elected the remaining board members, according to the company’s 2013 proxy statement.

 

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Walgreens’ Beth Stiller talks consumer shopping habits with Bloomberg Businessweek

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Walgreens’ Beth Stiller, division VP category strategy and innovation, on Thursday discussed with Bloomberg Businessweek the shopping habits of today’s post-recession consumer and how Walgreens is engaging that consumer where and when she wants.  

"Customers have become really sophisticated, and value to customers comes in lots of different forms," she told the news journal. "It could be personal interaction in a bricks-and-mortar store. It could be the ease of your mobile app, or just convenience and helping me get what I need to get done quickly, easily, and in the way I want to do it."

Stiller also outlined the investment Walgreens is making across its pharmacy staff in an effort to make the pharmacist more accessible. "They’re out front at a desk, on the floor, where you can talk to them if you need them," she said. "So that’s really enabled us to change the interaction and make the pharmacist a real pivotal piece of your healthcare plan."

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