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Walgreens ranks No. 60 on the 2014 InformationWeek Elite 100

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens ranked No. 60 on the 2014 InformationWeek Elite 100, a list of the top business technology innovators in the United States, the retailer announced Friday. Walgreens received the recognition for the development and launch of its Balance Rewards loyalty program, which has grown to nearly 80 million active members.

“This is great recognition for the work Walgreens has done to develop an omnichannel solution that ties customers’ online and mobile experiences to our stores in communities across America,” stated Tim Theriault, Walgreens chief information, innovation and improvement officer. “As technology continues to evolve and influence consumer behavior, Walgreens will continue to innovate and offer solutions to help people get, stay and live well.”

Balance Rewards is the nation’s largest loyalty program, Walgreens reported. Launched in the fall of 2012, the innovative program offers easy enrollment, instant points and endless rewards on a variety of items, prescriptions and immunizations. In addition, Walgreens rewards members for healthy activities such as weight management and physical exercise such as walking or running.

 

 

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Star Group combines agencies

BY Ryan Chavis

 PHILADELPHIA — Star Group, an independently owned marketing communications firm, announced a merger with Vox Medica and its parent company, Independence Healthcom Strategies Group. Star Group also merged in Calcium NYC, a full-service healthcare agency.

The combined group has entered the market as Calcium. Star Group will be the holding company and will combine Calcium NYC and Vox Medica with its healthcare division, Star Life Sciences. Additionally, Star Group will be creating an independent healthcare marketing communications agency. Steve Michaelson will serve as group CEO with a management team that incorporates members of all three agencies. The team will consist of:

  • Timmy Garde (Managing Partner/Chief Operating Officer);
  • Lorna Weir (Chief Strategic Officer);
  • Renee Mellas (President);
  • Steve Hamburg (Chief Creative Officer); and
  • Judy Capano (Director of Business Development).

“As a result of this merger, we have developed an agency with the agility to move as quickly as today’s rapidly evolving healthcare industry,”Michelson said. “An agency that will deliver unparalleled strategic and creative solutions, the most comprehensive digital capabilities and the best resources to market brands in today’s volatile environment. Knowledge, creativity, speed and flexibility make us an attractive option compared to the bureaucratic big agency mind set.”

Calcium will operate out of its New York City and Philadelphia offices.

 

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Food Lion offering shoppers chance to name private-brand sodas

BY Antoinette Alexander

SALISBURY, N.C. — Want to name a private-brand soda? Food Lion is betting that some of its shoppers will want to do just that so it has kicked off the “You Name it” contest.

Now through April 27, Food Lion customers can name their favorite private brand soda flavors for a chance to win prizes.

To participate, customers submit their suggested names for Food Lion brand root beer, ginger ale, orange soda, grape soda and fruit punch. One entry per soda per day is allowed in order to offer multiple opportunities to win prizes.

Five grand prize winners will receive $500, plus one a one-year supply of free private brand soda. Ten more winners will receive a $100 Food Lion gift card, as well as a three-month supply of free private brand soda.

Customers will have the chance to vote online on their favorite names from May 7 to 13.

 

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