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Walmart reportedly testing ‘endless aisle’ kiosks

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy
Walmart just made another move in its battle against online rival, Amazon.
 
The retail giant is testing a touch-screen monitor in its toy aisle at select stores in Texas. The solution connects shoppers to available inventory at store-level, and if it’s not on-hand, the device enables them to order it online, according to The Street
 
Defined in the report as an "endless aisle-type concept,” the kiosk enables shoppers to choose from a list of toys it currently sells. If customers are unsure what to purchase, the device can suggest best-sellers by prompting users to answer a selection of questions, such as is it a gift, the gender of the child, and the child’s age. 
 
If their choice is unavailable, shoppers can order it from the Walmart website and have it delivered to their home, Walmart CFO Brett Briggs said during a presentation at the Raymond James Investor Conference on Wednesday, March 8.
 
The endless aisle kiosk coincides with Walmart’s mission to become a more digital enterprise, as well as “making everyday easier for busy families,” Briggs explained, adding that the company has $15 billion in e-commerce sales, and more than 35,000 SKUs in its online assortment in the United States.
 
The solution is also the company’s latest competitive move against Amazon. Recently, the chain took on its rival by ending its ShippingPass program, a fee-based, two-day delivery service, in favor of a free two-day shipping program. Amazon’s Prime program charges $99 annually for unlimited two-day shipping.

 

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Karl Rove to deliver speech at NACDS Annual

BY Brian Berk

ARLINGTON, Va. — Karl Rove, deputy chief of staff to former President George W. Bush, will speak at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ Political Action Committee Breakfast during the NACDS Annual Meeting, set to take place April 22-25 in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Rove served as senior advisor to President George W. Bush from 2000–2007 and as deputy chief of staff from 2004–2007. At the White House, he oversaw the Offices of Strategic Initiatives, Political Affairs, Public Liaison, and Intergovernmental Affairs and was deputy chief-of-staff for policy, coordinating the White House policy-making process.

“Those who have met with Karl Rove or have seen him speak in any forum know that he will have something to say that cuts to the heart of the matter, and he will say it in a compelling way,” said NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE. “He is the right person to bring unmatched political insights and experience to the discussion of the current political and public policy landscape, and NACDS-PAC Breakfast attendees are going to have a great morning during the NACDS Annual Meeting.”

The bipartisan NACDS-PAC supports Congressional candidates who understand and help to advance pro-pharmacy and pro-patient policies. The NACDS-PAC Breakfast is part of the NACDS Chain Members and PAC Breakfast, during which NACDS-related business is conducted. The event is open to NACDS chain members and to NACDS-PAC contributors. 

Rove currently writes a weekly op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, appears frequently on the Fox News Channel and is the author of The New York Times bestseller, Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight. He has written for various publications, including The Daily Beast, Financial Times, Forbes, FoxNews.com, HumanEvents.com, The Times, The Washington Post, and The Weekly Standard. His latest book is The Triumph of William McKinley: Why the Election of 1896 Still Matters.

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Bartell Drugs names Demeules SVP of human resources

BY Brian Berk

SEATTLE — Bartell Drugs appointed Cindy Demeules as its SVP of human resources.

Demeules previously held positions with Starbucks and Savers, a 200-store international thrift store chain. She spent nearly a decade with Starbucks where she provided human resources support across Starbucks including the $15 billion Americas Retail Organization.  She led numerous HR initiatives that supported the achievement of business goals in both North and Latin Americas, achieving year-over-year goals for reducing turnover, two-year manager stability, partner satisfaction, and talent development.

As global director of field human resources with Saver for five years, Demeules was responsible for developing a unified HR approach chain-wide for more than 9,000 employees in an organization that posted $500 million in annual sales.

She also served in HR director roles in the hospitality industry and with a Bellevue start-up.

Demeules received a masters of science in management from the St. Thomas University in Miami, Florida, and a bachelor of food science in food and nutrition from the University of Minnesota, with a certificate of mediation from the University of Washington.

“We are excited to have Cindy join our Bartell team,” said Brian Unmacht, Bartell’s president and CEO. “Her experience and passion will enhance Bartell’s commitment to our employees and help take our employee experience to the next level.”

Bartell Drugs operates 65 locations in King, Snohomish and Pierce Counties in Washington State.

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