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Walgreens raises profile in Hawaii with donation to heart fund effort

BY Jim Frederick

DEERFIELD, Ill. Boosting its visibility in Honolulu as it works to expand its foothold in the Hawaiian Islands, Walgreens presented a check for $2,320 this week to the American Heart Association’s Hawaiian affiliate. The money was raised during the company’s annual “Take Heart and Give” campaign earlier this year.

Nationwide, Walgreens raised more than $1.6 million through the sale of $1 paper hearts in its 6,200 stores.

“As a pharmacy and health care retailer, we place special emphasis on being involved with health care charities,” said Dana Psomas, Hawaii district manager. She noted that more than 3,200 people in the state die each year from heart disease.

Walgreens will also field a team of employees at the 15th annual Oahu Heart Walk Aug. 16, the company said.

Meanwhile, the chain is working to capitalize on its initial entry into Hawaii, following the grand opening of its first store here in November, in one of Honolulu’s busiest shopping districts. Two more Walgreens drug stores will open in Hawaii by the end of the year, the company predicts, with more units due for opening in 2009.

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AAFES introduces reusable shopping bags to benefit environment

BY Michael Johnsen

DALLAS As part of a continuing effort to be a good steward of the environment, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service is introducing reusable bags to military shoppers, AAFES announced recently.

Made of non-woven polypropylene mesh, the bags are now arriving in stores in the United States, with worldwide distribution expected by June.

“Military shoppers continue to express a strong desire for environmentally friendly products,” stated AAFES’ senior vice president of sales Maggie Burgess. “In fact, AAFES has seen Compact Fluorescent Lighting light bulb sales increase by 160 percent in 2008 compared to the same time period last year. With that said, we anticipate exchange customers will enthusiastically embrace AAFES’ new, environmentally friendly shopping bag options.”

The AAFES recycled-reusable bag line, capable of carrying up to 35 pounds, will consist of a small shopping bag and wine bag for $0.99 each, a large shopping bag for $1.49 and a thermal bag is available for $1.99.

In addition to the bags, AAFES is implementing “green initiatives” at exchange facilities across the globe to include ENERGY STAR vending machines, inventive “pollution solutions” in fast food restaurants, CFL options within the stores as well as real estate efforts that focus on energy and water reduction and the incorporation of earth friendly materials into building design.

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Wegmans considers expansion into Massachusetts

BY Michael Johnsen

SYRACUSE, N.Y. According to a weekend report in The Post-Standard, a Syracuse daily, Wegmans is considering the expansion of its grocery business into Westwood, Mass., a Boston suburb.

“We have not yet committed to the project … but it is under consideration,” Jo Natale, director of media relations for Wegmans, told the paper. “At the moment, there are no other sites in Massachusetts under consideration, but if we go forward with this one, we will likely look for others.”

According to the report, the project hinges on whether the grocer can obtain a liquor license.

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