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Walgreens installing DVD rental kiosks in 2,000 stores

BY Doug Desjardins

CHICAGO Walgreens announced plans to roll out RedBox DVD rental kiosks to more than 2,000 stores through 2009 after testing them in a handful of markets.

Walgreens began testing the kiosks that rent DVDs for $1 per day in about 50 stores in Chicago and Houston in 2006 and expanded that test last November to 200 stores in Phoenix and Columbus, Ohio. It currently has the kiosks in about 250 stores and will add them in 1,800 more during the next two years.

“Featuring the latest DVD rentals for $1 per night, Redbox provides Walgreens’ consumers with another great reason to visit their neighborhood Walgreens location,” said RedBox chief executive officer Gregg Kaplan.

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DePetris named GMDC director of wellness programs

BY Michael Johnsen

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. GMDC on Monday named Christopher DePetris its director of wellness programs, who will be tasked with continuing to advance GMDC’s leadership position in wellness in the general merchandise and health beauty wellness supplier, wholesale and retailing industries.

“[Chris’s] knowledge and vision for consumer driven health and wellness retail solutions and extensive contacts within the retail and supplier communities that are driving innovation within the categories will be of tremendous value to the GMDC membership,” stated Dave McConnell, GMDC president and chief executive officer. “We feel that Chris’s addition to the staff provides GMDC with an executive whose primary focus will be on supporting the development of innovative programs, consumer and business insights and wellness-focused education and training that will clearly demonstrate GMDC’s commitment to being an industry leader in this exploding retail opportunity.”

DePetris joins GMDC from Wild Oats (now Whole Foods), where he was director of the holistic health department. While at Wild Oats, DePetris also served as national category manager of dietary supplements.

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Walgreens rolling first store into D.C.

BY Jim Frederick

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreen Co. will take the wraps off its first store in the District of Columbia with a grand opening March 6.

The chain, whose 6,179 stores now extend to 49 states and Puerto Rico, will host a special ceremony at 10 a.m. to mark its first drug store in Washington, DC. In a statement, the company called the event “an important milestone” for the chain, which is rapidly expanding its presence up and down the densely populated mid-Atlantic corridor.

“With the opening of this new 24-hour store, Walgreens now serves residents of every major metropolitan area in the country,” noted a company spokesperson.

Walgreens’ first DC store—many more will follow, if the company follows its standard operating model—is located at the intersection of 22nd Street and M Street in the heart of the city. Hosting the ribbon-cutting will be Kermit Crawford, Walgreen senior vice president of pharmacy services.

The event will also feature demonstrations of Walgreens pharmacy services and technology by Phil Burgess, national director of pharmacy affairs. The store will also introduce Washington consumers to a full range of recent Walgreens in-store innovations, including coffee and fountain drinks from Cafe W, printer cartridge refills, DHL shipping services, Walgreens.com photofinishing tools and prestige beauty products including the “European Beauty Collection,” “Yes To Carrots” and the new Chemisty and Sally Hershberger hair care lines.

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