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Walmart’s Riedl to depart

BY David Salazar

George Riedl, senior vice president of Walmart health and wellness, will be departing the company, effective March 16, according to a memo from Marybeth Hays, Walmart U.S.’s executive vice president of consumables and health and wellness.

George Riedl

George Riedl

Riedl joined Walmart in 2015 from Advanced Marketing & Sales. Before that, he had spent 27 years with Walgreens, where he held various roles, culminating in his stint as chief merchant. At Walmart, Hays said Riedl helped grow the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer’s partnerships with McKesson and Quest Diagnostics to enhance its generics sourcing and make Walmart more of a one-stop health destination. He also played a role in Walmart’s recently rolled out DisposeRx program, which is part of Walmart’s efforts to lead in responsible opioid stewardship, Hays said.

 

“George is a true servant leader and his team will continue to advance Walmart’s position in the industry by passionately advocating for our patients — helping them save money and live better,” Hays’ memo said. A Walmart spokesperson did not comment on whether the company has named a successor.

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Albertsons debuts service to track digital ad performance

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Albertsons unveiled a new service designed to help consumer brands figure out whether their digital ads are working.

The supermarket giant launched Albertsons Performance Media, a digital media capability designed to improve the digital advertising performance of its CPG brand partners. The technology, powered by Quotient, uses proprietary shopper data to drive more targeted sales across Albertsons’ network of more than 2,300 stores in 35 states.

The technology will create more targeted and relevant ad campaigns that will be shared across mobile, social and web channels. These could be digital coupons, in-store specials, and “add-to-cart” incentives for online purchases. Brands that use the service will deliver campaigns across Albertsons’ digital properties, as well as Quotient’s and third-party properties that serve digital ads — including all major digital publishers.

The solution also uses advanced analytics to measure performance by linking ad views to a shopper’s verified purchase — and Albertsons already has more than 30 million verified buyers, according to the company.

These more targeted ads are expected to grow sales by driving product trial, winning new customers, and appealing to repeat buyers, Albertsons said.

“The launch of Albertsons Performance Media is a significant milestone in our journey to being more tightly integrated in the digital grocery ecosystem,” said Narayan Iyengar, senior VP of digital and e-commerce at Albertsons Companies. “With this capability, we aspire to deepen our digital relationships with our CPG vendor partners while also being more relevant to our digitally savvy customers.”

Albertsons, which has been piloting the efforts with major brands, said return on the investment so far has proven three times the average of similar efforts. It has also signed up more than 60 consumer companies for the program, according to CNBC.

This is not Albertsons’ first try at gaining traction across the digital and e-commerce landscape. The company recently joined forces with delivery service Instacart, a move to offer same-day delivery of online orders to customers in as little as an hour. The grocer plans to make the service available in more than 1,800 of Albertsons’ banners across the country by mid-2018.

Albertsons was also the first national grocery retailer to acquire a prepared-meals company. The supermarket chain acquired online meal company Plated last fall.

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SLIDESHOW: Rite Aid opens iconic Wellness format in hometown market

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid celebrated the grand reopening of its Harrisburg Market Street store on Tuesday, where Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse joined Bryan Everett, EVP store operations Rite Aid along with other company and community officials for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“Since announcing our plans for this store last June, many people have worked diligently to bring this project to fruition,” Everett said. “Today, we celebrate this new store and recognize those who played a role in this project including the City of Harrisburg, Harristown Development Corporation, our supplier partners and of course, many local Rite Aid associates,” he said. “Thanks to their efforts, our relocated Market Street store offers a design and shopping experience as unique as Strawberry Square itself and perfectly illustrates our more than 40-year commitment to the city of Harrisburg and the people who live and work in the community.”

Unique to the Market Street location is a one-of-a-kind in-store Hershey Sweet Shop that offers a variety of Hershey’s candy and specialty merchandise. The custom displays, developed in partnership with The Hershey Company, celebrates the confectioner’s most iconic brands including Hershey’s Kisses, Reese’s and Twizzlers, and offers a selection of apparel, novelty gifts and of course, the latest chocolate and candy treats from the world’s best-loved confectionary company, headquartered in nearby Hershey, Pa.

The new 14,000 square foot store also showcases the company’s popular Wellness store format, now featured in nearly 2,500 Rite Aid stores nationwide. From the street level entrance, customers will follow a wooden floor path leading directly to the pharmacy department, to be greeted by pharmacists with special training in diabetes care, medication management and the ability to immunize.

“The new Rite Aid store in Strawberry Square is another sign of the great things happening in downtown Harrisburg and throughout the city,” Papenfuse said. “We applaud Rite Aid for investing in our city and supporting Harrisburg’s economic vitality.”

Other key in-store design elements include overhead departmental rings designating each section of the store such as beauty, food, home care and seasonal; inside and outside entrances; a relaxing, warm color palette with soothing wood tones and softer lighting; hundreds of new health and wellness products including organic and gluten-free foods; a private pharmacist consultation room adjacent to the pharmacy where Rite Aid pharmacists can have conversations with patients, administer immunizations and offer other clinical pharmacy services.

In honor of the grand reopening, The Rite Aid Foundation will present a $10,000 KidCents donation to Joshua Group, a local nonprofit organization and one of The Rite Aid Foundation’s inaugural KidCents charities. The Joshua Group offers programming that addresses the academic and social needs of economically disadvantaged city youth of all ages living in the Allison Hill neighborhood of Harrisburg, which is marked by concentrated poverty, an epidemic of crime, drugs and violence, and failing public schools.

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