Walmart adds latest piece to e-commerce puzzle
SAN BRUNO, Calif. — Walmart has named a replacement for Eduardo Castro-Wright, who announced his pending retirement in September. The company announced that Neil Ashe is the new president and CEO of the company’s global e-commerce business, effective Jan. 16. Castro-Wright will assist in the transition.
Ashe is replacing Eduardo Castro-Wright who announced his pending retirement in September and will assist in the transition.
Ashe comes to Walmart from CBS Interactive, where he most recently served as president. As president, he led all online properties and also drove development of new ways to distribute programming produced by the media giant and its subsidiaries. Websites included CBS.com, CNET.com, CBSNews.com, and CBSSports.com, among others.
"E-commerce is a great opportunity for us and we have a long-term vision to win," said Mike Duke, Walmart’s president and CEO. "We are on track to create the next generation of e-commerce, combining the latest in online innovations with physical stores to give our customers a unique and seamless shopping experience." Duke added, "With his strong personal leadership skills, financial background and experience in successfully working within a major corporation to lead its Internet division, Neil is the ideal leader to help us build this business. He has led companies through all stages of growth and maturity. He also has a deep understanding of the interactive space and how to attract and convert online customers. Perhaps most importantly, much of Neil’s professional success has come through close collaboration and shared goals with his peers – a key attribute as we continue to integrate our online businesses across the company and with our physical stores."
Prior to his work at CBS Interactive, Ashe was CEO of CNET Networks, initially best known for providing technology-related information, product reviews and price comparisons through CNET.com. He also oversaw dramatic development in the company’s China division, taking it from a small magazine and events operator to a highly profitable, fast-growing online business. During his tenure, the company’s value increased from $100 million to $1.8 billion. Ultimately, Ashe led the sale of the company to CBS and became president of CBS Interactive at that time.
Earlier, Ashe founded a company focused on using the Internet to improve K-12 education in the U.S. Prior to this, he was a partner and managing director at private investment firm Crest Communications Holdings and, before that, was an associate at Smith Barney, the investment bank now part of Citigroup.
A excellent step to position the company to deliver e-health services on a global basis. Ron Hammerle, Chairman Health Resources, Ltd. Tampa, Florida
Take Care Clinics now offering real-time appointment scheduling option
DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens’ Take Care Health Systems, which operates more than 350 clinics inside select Walgreens locations across the country, has announced that patients now can schedule appointments online or in the clinic.
These new scheduling options further Walgreens commitment to improving patient access to quality healthcare services and increasing transparency in health care. In addition to scheduling Take Care Clinic appointments online, TakeCareHealth.com offers access to a cost menu to quickly evaluate the cost of services, as well as local and up-to-date information on patient satisfaction scores and market-specific quality of care scores based on National Center for Quality Assurance Health Effectiveness Data and Information Set guidelines. HEDIS guidelines are used by more than 90% of America’s health plans to measure performance on healthcare delivery. For patients planning a walk-in visit to a Take Care Clinic, TakeCareHealth.com offers access to estimated wait times at each clinic.
“Our goal is always to leverage leading technology and practices to help our patients receive the care they need, on their terms, and the ability to offer appointments will help us do just that,” stated Heather Helle, divisional VP for Walgreens consumer solutions group. “Now patients or health systems partners can easily evaluate which clinic location makes the most sense for a visit at a convenient time, and we believe this will ultimately help create the simpler and easier healthcare experience that is being sought by patients and their healthcare providers.”
A recent study released by the Rand Corp. showed that the use of walk-in retail clinics to treat common illness, such as respiratory infections, ear aches, sore throats, flu symptoms and other acute conditions is on the rise — having increased 10-fold in the past two years. The study also found that patients who visited clinics could reduce healthcare costs for themselves and the overall system, as care provided at the clinics is on average 30% to 40% less expensive than a physician’s office for similar services and 80% less expensive than care provided at a hospital emergency room.
“The suite of online tools, affordable service and convenience that Take Care Clinics offer is unique in the marketplace,” stated Sandy Ryan and chief nurse practitioner officer for Take Care Health Systems. “We believe that as we continue to explore new and exciting ways to reach our patients, such as relationships with health systems, our unique offerings can further drive value for our patients and our coordinated care partners.”
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Really great. I liked the scheduling appointments online idea.so now the people don't have to go to the clinic and wait for taking doctor appointment.
A nice addition, particularly for specialty clinics. Ron Hammerle Health Resources, Ltd. Tampa, Florida
ShopperTrak: Holiday season sales grew 3.5%, foot traffic declined 3.1%
NEW YORK — ShopperTrak reported Monday that national retail sales, when compared with the same period last year, rose 3.5% during November and December, while foot traffic decreased 3.1%.
“We know stores saw less foot traffic and increases in sales during the holiday season, indicating consumers were focused and took fewer trips,” ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin said. “Retailers who tracked their foot traffic daily better understood and predicted shopper trends and made the most of every opportunity that walked through their doors with appropriate inventory and staffing adjustments.”
Throughout the holiday season, ShopperTrak has estimated that consumers spent $251.4 billion dollars in GAFO retail sales. Sales rose 3.5% over 2010, but slightly lower than ShopperTrak’s forecast of a 3.7% increase.
The season started with four straight weeks of year-over-year sales gains in November, with Thanksgiving week having the largest year-over-year sales gain for the month — a 4.4% increase over the same period last year and $134.2 billion spent. Sales lagged in early December, as shoppers assessed their budgets after “Black Weekend.”
ShopperTrak said it also attributed December’s slow start to Hanukkah falling later in the month this year than it did in 2010, negatively affecting retail sales early on. Sales surged late in the season, however. The week before Christmas saw the season’s largest year-over-year sales gain of 14.4%, $193.7 billion spent and six of the season’s top 10 sales days occurred in the eight days prior to Christmas.
While shoppers bought more, they browsed less according to ShopperTrak. In-store foot-traffic decreased 3.1% for the 2011 holiday season over the same period last year. According to ShopperTrak, foot-traffic suffered year-over-year decreases in all but two weeks from Nov. 5 through Jan. 7. Gas prices rose 13% over the average fuel prices in the 2010 holiday season, which may account for some foot traffic loss.
“Our shopper-counts from 25,000 locations in the United States indicate shoppers were more targeted in their holiday shopping than in years past,” Martin added. “Many pre-shopped for gifts online and then went to stores with in-stock merchandise priced at the best values to make purchases.”
The only week with a year-over-year gain in shopper traffic during the holiday season was the week ending December 24, as late-season shoppers procrastinated or sought out last-minute deals.
ShopperTrak said it expects the downward trend in foot traffic to continue in 2012. Converting fewer numbers of shoppers to buyers has never been more important for retailers, said ShopperTrak.
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