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Walgreens institutes developer challenge to spur Balance Rewards integration in health-focused apps

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. – Walgreens on Monday announced it is conducting a developer contest to encourage integration of its Balance Rewards application program interface (API), which allows users of other apps to earn Balance Rewards loyalty program points for making healthy choices. Rewards points can be redeemed for merchandise in-store or online.
 
“Through our API developer program, we’re able to extend our loyalty program into the digital ecosystem, ultimately reaching more consumers and rewarding them for their healthy activities,” said Abhi Dhar, group VP and chief technology officer, digital, at Walgreens. “By developing more API offerings, we’re continuing to invest in developer relationships and see the value they deliver.”
 
From now through Nov. 28, third-party app developers can access contest details and submit an integrated app entry by visiting the Balance Rewards App Challenge page. Winners will be announced during the Walgreens session at the upcoming mHealth Summit 2014 in Washington D.C., Dec. 7 to 11. 
 
Categories, awards and selection criteria are as follows:
 
  • Walgreens Best Overall App Integration Award ($7,000) – The prize will be based on the quality of the app integration idea, successful integration of the Balance Rewards API and impact for app customers to lead a happy and healthy life;
  • Henry Ford Health System Patient Engagement Award ($3,000) – As a supporter of the challenge, Henry Ford Health System will offer an award that is based on the potential to incent healthy patient behavior and engagement, while increasing or easing the ability to manage chronic conditions. This criteria is in addition to the quality of the app integration idea and successful integration of the Balance Rewards API; and
  • People's Choice for Best App Integration Award ($3,000) – Voted on by ChallengePost users and also will be based on the quality of the app integration idea, successful integration of the Balance Rewards API and impact for app customers to lead a happy and healthy life.
In 2012, Walgreens launched its QuickPrints API, which enabled photo apps to provide users with the convenience of sending photos directly to Walgreens for printing. At that time, less than 1% of the company’s digital print business came from mobile. Today, 40% comes from mobile with more than 125 third-party photo app integrations.
 
The following year, the Prescription API was launched and allowed for seamless prescription refill and transfer capabilities for users of third-party apps. Most recently, Walgreens launched its Balance Rewards API to extend the company’s Balance Rewards for healthy choices program — the first loyalty program to offer consumers rewards for healthy choices.
 
Popular fitness devices and apps such as GenieMD, HoMedics, LifeTrak, Lose It!, Misfit, Nudge, Omron Fitness and RunKeeper have integrated the Balance Rewards API, allowing users to automatically earn points for healthy activities like walking, running and biking.
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New L’Occitane Atlanta flagship boutique one of few ‘Provence Home’ concept stores

BY Antoinette Alexander

ATLANTA — French natural beauty retailer L'Occitane has opened doors to its latest U.S. store in Atlanta, marking the retailer’s largest flagship in the United States and one of its first new “Provence Home” concept stores.

The store is one of 17 stores to open in the new $1 billion Buckhead Atlanta development.

"L'Occitane takes great care in selecting where we open our beautiful flagship stores around the world, and so we are delighted that our third flagship in the U.S., and the first in Georgia, is opening in the magnificent Buckhead Atlanta shopping center," said David Boynton, CEO of L'Occitane.

The flagship is the fifth L'Occitane boutique to open in the Atlanta area. The “Provence Home” concept conveys a warm, inviting and generous atmosphere in which the customer can discover the richness of the brand's story in a new way, the company explained.  A space where they can experience the region of Provence, even from miles away, through a range of warm materials, contemporary yet authentic designs, displays and features, including a "golden sun" chandelier made entirely of the brand's signature and never-fading Immortelle flowers from Corsica.

 

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Supergoop! names director of operations

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Supergoop!, which makes multifunctional sun care formulas, has appointed Dwayne Bobbit as director of operations.

In this role, Bobbit will implement business guidelines and strategies to ensure efficient performance as Supergoop! continues to achieve its current and future goals in the skin care industry, the company stated.

With more than 25 years of experience in operations, manufacturing and logistics, Bobbit kept the production wheels greased and product in supply during the high-growth periods at both Philips Oral Care and Clarisonic, both pre- and post-acquisition, the company stated.

“As the brand continues to expand and create exciting new products, it is absolutely essential that we have an expert like Dwayne on our team to oversee a seamless product development process,” stated CEO and founder, Holly Thaggard, “We are thrilled to have him on board and know that he will be a strong asset and integral part of the brand’s growth.”

“Given my background in personal care, it’s so exciting to be brought onto this team of experts with such dedication to improving products that actually help our everyday lives,” Bobbit stated. “Supergoop! has a real mission to change the way we look at sun and skin care, and I feel very fortunate to be able to join them as they continue working towards this mission.”
 

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