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Walgreens taps IBM retail analytics to maximize tech infrastructure

BY Michael Johnsen

ARMONK, N.Y.  — IBM on Friday announced a new agreement with Walgreens to deploy IBM retail analytics at more than 8,100 locations nationwide to help improve the efficiency of field service support for these locations.

“Extending our multivendor services capabilities to support Walgreens stores sets an exciting new benchmark in an evolving retail industry, but it does not stop there,” stated Martin Jetter, SVP IBM Global Technology Services. “As a cloud services integrator, IBM is always driven by the desire to think differently about the way we manage our clients’ services and underlying infrastructure in any business, and we are well suited to help them achieve the results they are looking for.”

With IBM’s support of IT systems at Walgreens stores, IBM’s capabilities to integrate hardware and software from different vendors under one roof will lead to more efficient operation of technology across the store, the company stated.

IBM Cloud also will be used to determine the level of support that will likely be needed at each Walgreens location based on service request history. In the future, this information may enable better anticipation and coordination when dispatching field technicians, so they arrive at the right time to resolve an issue. These data-driven insights may help to identify the most frequent service calls at a given location and bundle those requests into one service call to minimize repeated instances of system downtime.

 

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Target grows reach of Restock next-day delivery

BY Marianne Wilson

MINNEAPOLIS — The delivery wars continue to heat up as Target announced it was rolling out its next-day delivery service of household essentials, Target Restock, to eight new markets.

The pilot launched in June in the retailer's Minneapolis-St. Paul hometown market, and was expanded — with some tweaks — in August, to the Dallas-Fort Worth and Denver areas. On Thursday, Target said it is expanding the service to the Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C./Baltimore areas.

"The service is now live in 10 markets and will be available to guests in the San Francisco area beginning in mid-October — meaning the service area will reach 70 million people, about one-fifth of the U.S. population," the retailer said in a blog post on its website.

To date, some of the most popular items for Target Restock in the three existing markets – Dallas, Denver and Minneapolis – have been on-the-go snacks, beverages, cereal, macaroni and cheese and paper towels, according to Target.

To take advantage the Target program, shoppers go to the dedicated Target Restock online storefront where they can shop the assortment, which includes more than 15,000 items. As shoppers fill up a box, a grey bar at the top of their screen will show the percentage of space each item in the box has taken up and the percentage of space that's left. (The box is limited to 45 lbs.)

The items will be packaged at a nearby store. If the order is placed by 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday, it will arrive at the customer’s home the next business day. (The service has a flat fee of $4.99 per box).

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Albertsons named Corporate Citizenship Award finalist

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation earlier this week named 24 finalists for the 2017 Corporate Citizenship Awards, including Albertsons as part of the "Disaster Relief and Outreach Initiative" category. Mastercard and The Walt Disney Company were also named finalists in that category

“Each and every day businesses act as a powerful force for good on both a local level and around the world,” stated Marc DeCourcey, SVP U.S. Chamber Foundation. “This year’s finalists are reminders of how businesses continue to make a positive impact in communities and work toward making the world a better place.”

During the August 2016 floods in Louisiana, which caused roughly $8.7 billion in damage and destroyed more than 60,000 homes, Albertsons activated its Disaster Relief and Outreach Initiative to serve a critical need in impacted communities. Efforts included fundraisers, food and product donations, logistic assistance and cash donations. Store facilities coordinated with sister stores and vendor partners—and even transformed into emergency shelters and command centers for the local the fire and police department, mayor’s office and the Department of Homeland Security.

This year, USA TODAY Network will join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation as the media partner for the 18th annual Corporate Citizenship Awards and Corporate Citizenship Conference on November 14 – 15, 2017 in Washington. Winners in each category will be selected by a panel of corporate citizenship and business leaders and will be named during a gala on Nov. 15.

The U.S .Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

 

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