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Walmart enhances e-commerce deliverables with latest fulfillment center

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA — Walmart officials on Wednesday attended a sneak preview event of Walmart’s new e-commerce fulfillment center here. The new facility is dedicated to filling online orders and is the latest addition to the next-generation fulfillment network Walmart is building to support its rapidly growing eCommerce business.
 
“We’re rapidly enhancing our fulfillment capabilities to give customers more choices and fast shipping, while keeping our costs down so we can continue to lower our prices,” said Neil Ashe, CEO Walmart Global e-commerce. “Whether shipping to home or picking up at a store, our digital and physical fulfillment assets come together and let customers choose the most convenient way to receive their online orders.”
 
The 1.2 million sq. ft. facility in Union City, just south of Atlanta, is the third large-scale e-commerce fulfillment center to open in the U.S. in as many months, and features state-of-the-art automation and warehousing systems. The new large scale centers, including the Atlanta facility, will join existing, smaller e-commerce fulfillment centers, store distribution centers, 4,500 Walmart stores and the company’s transportation fleet to ship online orders fast and efficiently to customers around the country.
 
The sneak preview event included presentations of $350,000 in grants from Walmart and the Walmart Foundation to four local community groups. The Americas Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia, Senior Citizens Services of Metropolitan Atlanta, CSRA Business League and Feeding the Valley each received contributions to assist with their goals of helping those in need. 
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New survey contrasts shopper behavior, retailer expecations

BY David Salazar

DURHAM, N.C. — New research from Bronto Software and Ipsos is offering insights for retailers about what shoppers want from their experience this holiday season. The data comes from a survey of 1000 shoppers and a separate survey of 100 leading retailers.

One of the most notable bits of data from Bronto’s report is that 52% of shoppers don’t plan to make a holiday purchase until October or November, despite the 53% of retailers who start their holiday campaigns in September or earlier. Bronto points out that inundating consumers with marketing too early can lead to a drop in engagement or sales when it matters most. 

"More consumer choices and multi-channel purchasing options have disrupted the traditional timing of holiday shopping," said Jim Davidson, head of research at Bronto. "Retailers must understand when and where their customers are shopping and what promotions resonate with particular demographics. Our research confirmed some assumptions and uncovered a few surprises.”

Among the surprises is likely the way that consumers plan to use their smartphones this holiday season. More than 60% of retailers expect shoppers to use their mobile device to look up return and exchange policies. But only 19% of shoppers will do that, instead 65% will look for coupons and promotions, 63% will check the store’s online prices and 61% will price the same item at other stores. 

Another bit of insight provided shows that if retailers are looking to boost sales, they may need to sweeten the pot for shoppers, as 39% of shoppers won’t shop somewhere that doesn’t offer free shipping, even though only 28% of retailers surveyed plan to make that part of their holiday sales repertoire. Additionally, even though 70% of retailers think door-buster deals are effective, only 28% of shoppers are interested. 

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Rite Aid opens voting for their consumer’s favorite pharmacy team member

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. – Rite Aid on Wednesday brought back its nationwide annual Vote for Your Favorite Pharmacy Team Member Contest to celebrate American Pharmacist Month. Through the contest, Rite Aid customers have a chance to win $2,500 in Rite Aid gift cards by nominating a favorite member of their Rite Aid pharmacy team. 
 
"American Pharmacist Month is the perfect time to celebrate the year-round efforts of our pharmacy teams as they continue to delivery excellent customer service and help our patients lead healthier lives," stated Tammy Royer, SVP pharmacy operations at Rite Aid. “We are so proud of our pharmacy team, and this program is a great way for Rite Aid and our patients to honor and recognize those who are making a difference in the communities we serve every day.”
 
Now in its twelfth year, the contest was designed to recognize Rite Aid pharmacy associates including pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, pharmacy managers, pharmacy cashiers and Wellness Ambassadors, for their commitment to providing excellent customer service.
 
From Oct. 1 through Oct. 31, customers can vote for their favorite pharmacy team member by completing a mail-in nomination form available at any Rite Aid pharmacy or online at www.riteaid.com/vote. Customers who vote will automatically be entered into a random drawing to win $2,500 in Rite Aid gift cards. One nominated pharmacy team member also will win $2,500 in Rite Aid gift cards through a random drawing. 
 
All nominated Rite Aid pharmacy team members will be recognized by Rite Aid with a Favorite Pharmacy Team Member lapel pin and a letter of commendation from Rite Aid's Chairman and CEO John Standley and EVP pharmacy Jocelyn Konrad.
 
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