Australia: Wesfarmers Managing Director Richard Goyder announced senior management changes within the Group

Perth, Australia, 2014-2-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — Wesfarmers Managing Director Richard Goyder today announced senior management changes within the Group.

Mr Goyder said Coles Managing Director, Ian McLeod, would move to a senior role within the wider Wesfarmers Group, with John Durkan, Coles Chief Operating Officer, replacing him as Coles Managing Director. The changes will be effective from 1 July 2014.

Mr Goyder said he was delighted Ian McLeod would continue to contribute to the future growth of Wesfarmers as Group Commercial Director, building on his leadership during the successful first six years of the Coles turnaround.

“Ian’s success with the Coles Division, which has more than doubled earnings before interest and tax and helped generate significant shareholder value for the Wesfarmers Group, highlights his credentials as a world class retailer and leader,” Mr Goyder said.

“By enhancing the customer experience, improving our fresh food offering and on-shelf availability, as well as continued commitment to everyday low prices, the Coles business is unrecognisable from the one we purchased in 2007.”

Mr McLeod said he was looking forward to his new role.

“When I started at Coles in 2008, I felt that Australians deserved a better retail experience, with better stores, better standards, better prices and better quality. We have worked incredibly hard to deliver improvements in all of these areas and have been rewarded with four million additional customers visiting our stores each week,” Mr McLeod said.

“I would like to thank every one of the 100,000 Coles team members for their dedication and commitment in support of the turnaround. Without them, any turnaround success would not have been possible.”

“I am delighted to be afforded the opportunity to help Wesfarmers further with my new role.”

Mr McLeod will take his new position at the beginning of July 2014 and working closely with the Group Managing Director and senior team will lead and provide executive oversight on a number of strategic initiatives and internal Wesfarmers programs.

Mr Goyder said John Durkan was a natural successor as Coles Managing Director given his strong track record of business success and his key role in the first phase of the Coles turnaround.

“Succession has been a major focus of the team at Coles over the past few years,” Mr Goyder said.

“I am extremely pleased that John Durkan, who has been part of Ian’s leadership team, will become Coles Managing Director and continue the Coles turnaround through the second phase of transformation.”

“John has proved his enormous value to the Group over the past six years and we are fortunate to have an executive of his experience and proven track record ready to step in to this pivotal role.”

Mr Durkan said he felt privileged to be given the chance to lead the next phase of the Coles transformation.

“This is a great opportunity, working with an outstanding management group and our 100,000 team members to reward our 19 million customers for their loyalty and make Coles the best food, liquor and petrol retailer in the country,” he said.

A copy of John Durkan’s career history is attached.

For further information:
Media
Cathy Bolt
Media & External Affairs Manager, Corporate Affairs
(+61) 8 9327 4423 or (+61) 417 813 804

Investors
Mark Scatena
General Manager, Investor Relations & Planning
(+61) 8 9327 4416 or (+61) 439 979 398

John joined Coles in July 2008 as Merchandising Director and has since been involved across many areas of the business. John was subsequently appointed Chief Operating Officer in June 2013.

John has added a wealth of customer, product and buying knowledge to Coles having worked for 17 years with Safeway Stores PLC in the UK, a large scale food retailer that operated supermarkets, convenience and fuel outlets. He left Safeway in 2004 as Trading Director.

Most recently, John was the Chief Operating Officer for Carphone Warehouse, the UK’s largest independent mobile phone retailer. That business spans 10 European countries, is fast paced and has a strong entrepreneurial culture, one that John is committed to enabling here at Coles.

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John Durkan

John Durkan

 

The British Retail Consortium published ground breaking ideas for the complete reform of the UK business rates system

LONDON, 2014-2-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — The British Retail Consortium has today published  The Road to Reform, a range of ground breaking ideas for the complete reform of the UK business rates system. These innovative options could ensure that customers continue to benefit from competition, provide positive incentives for retailers to invest in property, support the regeneration of the high street and create more jobs to add to the three million people already employed in the industry.

These potential options, that have been designed with BRC members and EY (Ernst&Young), are intended to create imaginative and innovative debate to feed into the Chancellor’s Discussion Document. The BRC welcomes publication of the framework the Discussion Document and is looking forward to engaging with the Treasury on the way forward.

The BRC, along with other business groups, have long argued that the current system of business rates creates disincentives for investment in property and as a result the system is now levying a higher burden on a smaller number of businesses, a situation that is particularly acute in the retail industry. As other taxes have been modernised, the rates system has been left behind and is woefully out of date.

Commenting on today’s proposals Helen Dickinson said: “We have a once in a generation chance to fundamentally change the business rates system and the time is right to think creatively and in the best long term economic interests of the UK. These potential options would be good for the public, the economy and businesses small and large, while still providing significant tax revenues for the Government. We now intend to analyse each one in more detail and very much hope that we will stimulate discussion that goes beyond tinkering with the existing system.”

John Rogers (Chief Financial Officer, J Sainsbury), who has chaired the group of executive level members from right across the industry leading the project for the BRC said: “The current system is outdated and cumbersome and does nothing to encourage retailers to invest. We believe we can do better for business and for tax payers and these options represent tangible progress in the debate on what reform could look like if we think about retail in the future, rather than the past.”

The BRC believes that more debate is needed to find ways to remove the disincentive to invest in property, promote growth in jobs, GDP and support entrepreneurs rather than simply tinkering with the existing system.

The potential options we are opening up for further discussion are:

1. Shifting the basis for taxing property by replacing the current system with a tax based on other measures, for example, energy usage
2. Rewarding employment by delivering a discount to the Business Rates bill based on a given value per employee, capped at an overall proportion of company rates bill
3. Supporting successful business by providing a discount to the Business Rates bill based on a percentage of Corporation Tax payment, capped at overall proportion of company rates bill
4. Modernising the existing system by introducing a simplified, banded revaluation system, with revaluations on a more regular basis

Options two and three could be based on the modernised system of business rates outlined in option four but the BRC does not believe that option four alone, simplification of the existing system, would be effective action to remove the disincentive to invest in property.

Potential options one, two & three would enable a future government to deliver outcomes that have been championed by all of the main political parties – those of job creation, increasing energy efficiency, promoting the payment of corporation tax in the UK and tax simplification.

Media Contacts: BRC Press Office 020 7854 8953 – kris.verle@brc.org.uk

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McKesson assumes responsibility for sourcing and distribution of generic pharmaceuticals for Rite Aid in new five-year agreement

  • New relationship to drive greater supply chain efficiencies for both companies; ensures highest levels of service for Rite Aid stores and customers
  • McKesson to assume responsibility for the sourcing and distribution of generic pharmaceuticals for Rite Aid as part of McKesson’s One Stop proprietary generics program
  • Expanded distribution relationship to provide Rite Aid with daily direct-to-store delivery for all brand and generic pharmaceutical products
  • Leverages the strength of Rite Aid as one of the leading national drugstore chains in the United States and McKesson as a leader in pharmaceutical sourcing and supply chain management
  • Distribution agreement extends through March 2019

SAN FRANCISCO and CAMP HILL, Pa. 2014-2-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — McKesson Corporation (NYSE:MCK) and Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE:RAD) announced the signing of an expanded distribution agreement to include both brand and generic pharmaceuticals. The new five-year agreement, which extends through March 2019, creates efficiencies for both companies by leveraging the strength of Rite Aid as one of the leading national drugstore chains in the United States, and McKesson as a leader in pharmaceutical sourcing and supply chain management.

McKesson and Rite Aid have a long history as trusted partners in ensuring the availability of essential medications to patients. As part of the expanded agreement, McKesson will assume responsibility for the sourcing and distribution of generic pharmaceuticals for Rite Aid as part of McKesson’s One Stop proprietary generics program. Rite Aid stores will benefit from the full value of McKesson’s daily direct-to-store delivery service model for brand and generic pharmaceutical products, ensuring the highest levels of service for their customers.

“I am extremely proud of McKesson’s industry-leading service levels and the strength of our global sourcing and supply chain capabilities; which mean that we deliver the right products at the right time with exceptional efficiency for our customers” said John H. Hammergren, chairman and chief executive officer, McKesson Corporation. “Rite Aid has been a valued customer to McKesson for more than 16 years and I am honored at the trust they have placed in us as we expand our partnership.”

“We are excited to expand our partnership with McKesson,” said John Standley, Rite Aid’s chairman and chief executive officer. “The combination of Rite Aid’s and McKesson’s generic purchasing scale and sourcing expertise, in conjunction with McKesson’s industry-leading drug distribution capabilities, will enable us to achieve supply chain efficiencies, provide even better service to Rite Aid customers, and generate additional cash flow to fuel our company’s growth.”

About McKesson Corporation
McKesson Corporation, currently ranked 14th on the FORTUNE 500, is a healthcare services and information technology company dedicated to making the business of healthcare run better. McKesson partners with payers, hospitals, physician offices, pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies and others across the spectrum of care to build healthier organizations that deliver better care to patients in every setting. McKesson helps its customers improve their financial, operational, and clinical performance with solutions that include pharmaceutical and medical-surgical supply management, healthcare information technology, and business and clinical services. For more information, visit http://www.mckesson.com/.

About Rite Aid
Rite Aid Corporation is one of the nation’s leading drugstore chains with nearly 4,600 stores in 31 states and the District of Columbia and fiscal 2013 annual revenues of $25.4 billion. Information about Rite Aid, including corporate background and press releases, is available through the company’s website at http://www.riteaid.com/.

McKesson Corporation Contacts:

Investors and Financial Media:
Erin Lampert, 415-983-8391
Erin.Lampert@mckesson.com

General and Business Media:
Kris Fortner, 415-983-8352
Kris.Fortner@mckesson.com

Rite Aid Corporation Contacts:
Investor Relations:
Matt Schroeder, 717-214-8867
investor@riteaid.com

Media:
Susan Henderson, 717-730-7766

Risk Factors 
Except for historical information contained in this press release, matters discussed may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected, anticipated or implied. These statements may be identified by their use of forward-looking terminology such as “believes”, “expects”, “anticipates”, “may”, “will”, “should”, “seeks”, “approximately”, “intends”, “plans”, “estimates” or the negative of these words or other comparable terminology. The discussion of financial trends, strategy, plans or intentions may also include forward-looking statements. It is not possible to predict or identify all such risks and uncertainties; however, the most significant of these risks and uncertainties are described in the Form 10-K, Form 10-Q and Form 8-K reports filed by Rite Aid Corporation and McKesson Corporation with the Securities and Exchange Commission and include, but are not limited to, achievement of the anticipated operational and financial benefits from the expanded distribution agreement that was announced by both companies today. The reader should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are first made. Except to the extent required by law, neither Rite Aid nor McKesson undertakes any obligation to publicly release the result of any revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

Contact:

Investors: 0 0 717-975-3710, Matt Schroeder 717-214-8867 or investor@riteaid.com

Media: Susan Henderson 717-730-7766

 

Australia: Wesfarmers released landmark publication about its extraordinary story

Perth, Australia, 2014-2-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — The extraordinary story of how a humble Western Australian farmers’ co-operative became one of the nation’s top ten companies is revealed in a landmark publication to be launched today, Tuesday, 18 February.

Based on interviews with scores of past and present staff and the families of the company’s founding fathers, Wesfarmers 100: The People’s Story 1914-2014 highlights the bold leadership and the many colourful and sometimes controversial events which have shaped Wesfarmers on the journey to its first centenary.

From a paid-up capital of £2,052 in 1914, Wesfarmers has grown into a $50 billion conglomerate embracing Coles, Bunnings, Target, Kmart, Officeworks, Curragh coal mine and other businesses and services which collectively touch the lives of millions of Australians every day.

The 320-page, richly illustrated publication has been written by award-winning author and former newspaperman, Peter Thompson.

Peter was a journalist on the Courier Mail and the Sun News-Pictorial before becoming a Fleet Street journalist for 20 years. Since his first book, Maxwell: A Portrait of Power, he has written many books on Australian subjects including, with Robert Macklin, The Big Fella: The Rise and Rise of BHP Billiton, which won the Blake Dawson Prize for Business Literature.

Wesfarmers Managing Director Richard Goyder said the publication of the book in Wesfarmers centenary year was an important and fitting tribute to the company’s founders, leaders, dedicated workforce and loyal shareholders.

“Right from the beginning, our story has been one of innovation, growth and not being afraid to disrupt the status quo,” Mr Goyder said.

Wesfarmers 100: The People’s Story 1914-2014 has been published by UWA Publishing and will retail for $49.99.

For further information, author interviews, or media copies contact:
Cathy Bolt
Media & External Affairs Manager
(08) 9327 4423 or 0417 813 804

Wesfarmers Limited ABN 28 008 984 049
11th Floor, 40 The Esplanade, Perth, Western Australia 6000. GPO Box M978, Perth WA 6843.
www.wesfarmers.com.au

NGA SupermarketGuru Consumer Survey: shoppers want professional support for healthier eating habits in supermarkets

The Annual National Grocers Association-SupermarketGuru Consumer Survey Reveals Shoppers Want Support to Eat Healthier Including Professionals on the Selling Floor to Guide Food-Buying Decisions. 

LAS VEGAS, NV, 2014-2-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — Shoppers are spending more than half of their fresh-food dollars in supermarkets and want professionals on the shopping floor to support healthier eating habits and to guide food-buying decisions, according to the 2014 Annual National Grocers Association-SupermarketGuru Consumer Survey released today at the National Grocers Association (NGA) annual convention taking place in Las Vegas.

More than 1,380 chief household shoppers completed surveys that detailed their experiences, behaviors and sentiments on what appeals to them (or not) about supermarkets, as well as their purchase influences, eating habits and nutritional concerns. A total of 133 shopping attributes are addressed in this year’s survey.

According to the survey results, 85.9 percent of respondents say they spend more than half of their fresh-food dollars in supermarkets. This is up from 84.3 percent in the prior two years. Consumers also say they would rely more on nutritionists and dietitians on a regular basis – and some would pay for services tied to their individual wellness goals, weight loss, and best foods for specific health conditions.

Among other issues important to shoppers include: the retailers convenient location and access, navigable layouts and checkout processes that save time; courteous, custom services for people with special needs; the use of technology to tailor marketing messages and promotional offers; and, caring about the customer, among other issues.

“The survey shows that independent and local stores that perform well on these points can enhance a shoppers’ ability to integrate food into their lifestyles on their terms,” says Peter J. Larkin, President and CEO, NGA. “The more personalized the shopping experience at friendly, nimble regional supermarkets, the greater their edge over retailers less connected to communities and less empowered to please people as personal situations arise.”

“So there is an emotional side to where shoppers decide to do most of their food shopping,” say Phil Lempert, CEO of SupermarketGuru.com and The Lempert Report. “But practicality rules the store selection process. Regionals need to enhance their place in shoppers’ hearts with performance excellence that earns them a place in shoppers’ minds.”

Shoppers are also closely watching their wallets and the value with 79.6 percent saying accurate shelf tags are “very important. In addition, personal safety outside the store is up more than 3 points to 64.5 percent saying it’s “very important.”

Lempert adds, “This figure shows it’s not just what’s inside the store that counts. Surrounding areas have to be approachable and make people feel secure.” For a copy of the 2014 Annual National Grocers Association-SupermarketGuru Consumer Survey, click here.

About NGA: The National Grocers Association (NGA) is the national trade association representing the retail and wholesale grocers that comprise the independent sector of the food distribution industry. An independent retailer is a privately owned or controlled food retail company operating a variety of formats. The independent grocery sector is accountable for close to 1% of the nation’s overall economy and is responsible for generating $131 billion in sales, 944,000 jobs, $30 billion in wages, and $27 billion in taxes. NGA members include retail and wholesale grocers, state grocers associations, as well as manufacturers and service suppliers.  For more information about NGA, click here.

About SupermarketGuru: Founded in 1994 by Philip Lempert, www.SupermarketGuru.com is an award-winning online resource providing consumers with food safety, products, trends and shopping tips.  With more than 8 million visitors annually, consumers have access to breaking food industry news, health and nutrition tips and information.

SupermarketGuru.com is a “Top Food Site” award winner, among other awards. In addition, visitors are invited to join the SupermarketGuru.com Consumer Panel where they have the opportunity to evaluate new products and offer their own candid comments.  For more information, please visit www.SupermarketGuru.com

If you need additional information, please contact Laura Strange at 703-516-0700.

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National Grocers Association announced over 3,100 grocery retailers and wholesalers attended its 2014 Show in Las Vegas’ Mirage Hotel

LAS VEGAS, NV, 2014-2-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — With record attendance and a larger expo floor, which featured six partner pavilions, the National Grocers Association (NGA) concluded its 2014 Show today. Over 3,100 independent grocery retailers and wholesalers, and other Show participants attended this year’s conference, while close to 400 industry partners displayed their latest products and services at NGA’s EXPO floor held in Las Vegas’ Mirage Hotel.

Said Peter Larkin, NGA’s President and CEO: “I think this year’s show – our biggest ever – was all about enthusiasm: enthusiasm for a sector that has shown resiliency and is forward-looking, and enthusiasm about new technologies, services and economies of scale our members can incorporate in their businesses to grow success. I’d like to thank our show partners, the Independent Grocers Alliance, Produce Marketing Association, North American Meat Association, Center for Advancing Retail & Technology, Financial Management Solutions, Global Market Development Center, and American Frozen Food Institute for the support they provided in making this year’s show such a success.”

Added incoming NGA Chairman Rich Neimann, Jr., “With more than $130 billion in sales and nearly a million jobs, independents are a backbone of the national economy and local communities. I look forward to ensuring that the importance of the independent Grocer is understood, protected and advanced on all of our behalf.”

Outgoing NGA Chairman, Joe Sheridan, President and COO of Wakefern Food Corp., received a heartfelt Industry Tribute at the Chairman’s Gala, held Tuesday night. Also recognized at the gala was Jay Campbell, President and CEO, Associated Grocers, Inc., who received the 2014 Industry Service Leadership Award for his longtime industry service and his efforts to better working relations and understanding between retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers.

Additionally, winners of the fourth annual Food Industry University Coalition Student Case Competition were recognized at the gala. The competition strives to further the professional development of students from participating university food and retail programs.

Winning first place, and taking home $8,000, was Western Michigan University. This year’s runner-up, Saint Joseph’s University was awarded with $2,000. Prizes were made possible by the generous support of The Asparagus Club, a long-time funder of the contest, and presented by Dan Shaul, Asparagus Club president.

Students participating in the 2014 Case Study Competition examined the ‘local’ offering of Fresh Encounter, an independent retailer based in Findlay, OH, and made recommendations regarding marketing, merchandising and expanding the program to additional categories. Willard Bishop also provided industry data and insight to the students.

Other show highlights included the crowning of Andrew Hadlock of Macey’s, as the 2014 Best Bagger, and a stimulating presentation by Washington journalist and author Bob Woodward during Sunday’s opening session.

For the third consecutive year, exhibitors are donating leftover product to The Shade Tree, a Las Vegas nonprofit that assists the poor.

The 2015 NGA Show is planned for Las Vegas from February 8 – 11 at the Mirage Hotel. For more information on the NGA Show, visit www.theNGAshow.com.

If you need additional information, please contact Laura Strange at 703-516-0700.

ICSC: Olympics bring retail revival to Sochi, Russia

Sochi, Russia, 2014-2-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — Snow machines, skating rinks, ski jumps, high-speed trains and even a small army of security guards — Russia spared no expense staging the Winter Olympics in Sochi. By some estimates, the government plowed some $50 billion into the event, four times what China spent on its Summer Olympic Games. Nor was retail forgotten. Several new malls served the visitors and are now catering to the city’s roughly 500,000 year-round residents. Two of the most important of these are the MoreMall, which opened in 2012, and the Gorky Gorod Mall, which is in the ski resort built for the event, in the mountains behind Sochi.

Malls are a novelty for Sochi. Joseph Stalin built theaters, concert halls, botanical gardens and vast vacation complexes in the 1930s and 1940s, but retail mostly had to wait until the Putin era. The roughly 750,000-square-foot MoreMall, property of Moscow-based development company TPS Nedvizhimost, opened in 2012 and is reportedly fully leased. The 250-store shopping center’s anchor tenants include international names Adidas, H&M and Lacoste. Most days the mall attracts 30,000 visitors, according to Jones Lang LaSalle. “Originally we recommended they do it a bit smaller, but they wanted a mall that could be dominant in that region,” said Maxim Karbasnikoff, head of retail services for Cushman & Wakefield in Russia, advisers on the project.

Meanwhile, in the new Olympic ski village up in the snow-capped Caucasus, the 18,000-square-meter (about 194,000 square feet) Gorky Gorod Mall remains a work in progress. The mall and much of the ski settlement are the work of NBB Development (a unit of the National Business Development Bank) and designed by French architect Pierre Diener, whose firm, DGA/Agence, -specializes in resort architecture. Gorky Gorod Mall will contain 70 shops, plus a bowling alley, a cinema and a water park with a sandy beach. But according to news reports on Feb. 7, the day of the opening ceremonies, only one of the mall’s four levels was fully operational, and only two of the bowling lanes were open. One day later a Gorky spokesman was saying that 35 stores had opened and that more would continue to. Karbasnikoff, however, says he is unsure about the future of Gorky Gorod Mall and that of a 10,000-square-meter mall being built along the port. “Completed, yes,” Karbasnikoff said. “Filling with tenants? That’s another story.”

For now, because Sochi is mainly a tourist town, the current offerings “will be quite enough for this market during and after the Olympics,” said Marina Malakhatko, a business development director in the retail department of Jones Lang LaSalle in Russia. The 90,000 square meters of new retail space in downtown Sochi raises the amount of retail space to about 100 square meters per 1,000 inhabitants — roughly in line with the Russian average of 109 square meters per 1,000, according to Jones Lang LaSalle.

The real challenge for Sochi is that even though it was once one of the very few beach towns Russians had access to, millions now fly to Egypt and the Red Sea for their fun in the sun, and for a price Karbasnikoff says is lower than a Black Sea vacation. Still, he remains optimistic, simply because Russians keep getting richer. “I don’t expect [Sochi] to become the Russian Saint-Tropez,” Karbasnikoff said, “but we still have 160 million inhabitants, out of which 75 percent are middle-class-plus.”

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ICSC Olympics bring retail revival to Sochi, Russia

Hy-Vee, Inc. to acquire Omaha based Amber Pharmacy

WEST DES MOINES, IA, 2014-2-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — Hy-Vee, Inc. announced today that it has entered into an agreement to purchase Amber Pharmacy, a specialty pharmacy solutions provider based in Omaha, Neb. Hy-Vee and Amber Pharmacy have been partners in Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions since 2010. This acquisition allows Hy-Vee to expand its current specialty pharmacy business, providing customers with increased specialty options, access and affordability.

Specialty pharmacies help patients manage complex, chronic conditions by assigning a health care team – an enrollment specialist, pharmacist, patient care coordinator, and billing coordinator – to develop an individualized plan for the patient’s clinical care, insurance and financial administrative assistance. This comprehensive approach allows patients to obtain all their medications and services from one source, resulting in greater adherence to the prescribed therapy, improved health, and faster recovery.

“The partnership between Hy-Vee and Amber Pharmacy has been very successful over the last four years,” said Randy Edeker, Chairman, CEO and President of Hy-Vee, Inc. “Specialty pharmacy continues to experience tremendous growth. Amber Pharmacy’s talented team, innovative practices and commitment to customer service will allow us to respond to that growth while meeting and exceeding our customer needs.”

Amber Pharmacy will maintain its existing name and operations, including headquarters in Omaha and locations in Chicago, Dallas and Philadelphia. The specialty pharmacy company will operate independently and will continue to be led by current president Michael Agostino, R.Ph, retaining all employees.

“The Kaplan family’s history with Hy-Vee, along with their commitment to customer service, health and wellness, makes them an ideal partner to grow Amber Pharmacy’s presence,” said William Kaplan Sr. The Kaplan family started Amber Pharmacy in 1998 and it has a strong reputation for providing outstanding customer service. ‘Together, we will continue to be trusted partners with our patients, healthcare providers, insurance payers, and manufacturers,” said Kaplan.

Specialty pharmacy is the fastest growing segment in the pharmacy industry. In 1990 there were 10 specialty drugs on the market, while in 2012 there were nearly 300 agents that met the definition of a specialty drug. To respond to growing demand, Hy-Vee established Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions in 2010. The company was founded to provide Hy-Vee employees with specialty pharmacy services more efficiently and economically. Since that time, Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions has grown and specialty pharmacy has become an important focus for Hy-Vee and service for its customers.

The purchase price was not disclosed, but the acquisition was approved by the boards of both companies and pending regulatory approval should close within the next 30 days.

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New Hy-Vee’s Kids Fit program expands to include one-mile fun run and 5K options to fight childhood obesity

WEST DES MOINES, IA, 2014-2-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — Kids of all ages and skill levels will have additional opportunities to participate in events making up the new Hy-Vee Kids Fit program. The events will build on the kids triathlon offerings Hy-Vee has held in the past, but will expand to include one-mile fun run and 5K options to support wellness and fight childhood obesity.

A full schedule of events across an eight-state region kicks off at the 2014 Drake Relays with a new, one-mile fun run and a timed 5K race. A total of 19 new road races will be held April – September. The 5K time will qualify kids to run in the championship road race at the 2015 Drake Relays.

The qualifying aspect of the road race is unique said, Bill Burke, owner Premier Event Management and race director for the Hy-Vee Kids Fit events.

“No other running series in the United States offers a kid the opportunity to qualify for a championship event,” Burke said. “Hy-Vee Kids Fit opens a new avenue for thousands of kids to get involved, to set personal fitness goals and make the first step toward a lifetime of wellness.”

Additional one-mile and 5K road races will be offered in 19 communities, including: Des Moines, Iowa; Sioux Falls, S.D.; Columbia, Mo.; Kansas City, Kan.; Rochester, Minn.; Ames, Iowa; Omaha, Neb.; Madison, WI; Lawrence, Kan.; Sioux City, Iowa; Lincoln, Neb.; Quad Cities, Iowa; Iowa City, Iowa; Cedar Falls, Iowa; Dubuque, Iowa; Spirit Lake, Iowa; Quincy, Ill.; Kirksville, Mo.; and Maryville, Mo.

-more-

As a part of this new initiative, Hy-Vee will rename the program Hy-Vee Kids Fit, no longer partnering with IronKids, allowing the organization to expand its fitness offerings and increase participation from all skill levels. Participants and parents can expect the same level of competition and high-quality event management at these exciting and fun events.

Six regional kids’ triathlons will be held in the following cities this summer: Des Moines, Iowa; Omaha, Neb.; Quad Cities, Iowa/Ill.; Kansas City, Kan./Mo.; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Sioux Falls, S.D.; and the Championship Triathlon will be held at Gray’s Lake in Des Moines on August 30, 2014.

Hy-Vee’s goal in creating this fun, accessible and fitness-friendly initiative is to help fight childhood obesity one community at a time, getting children and families active and outdoors. Whether a child is new to exercise or is training for the triathlon, Hy-Vee Kids Fit has an event for every skill level.

Darin Hirl, the event director for Hy-Vee, said the company is committed long-term to partnering with communities and families to support health and wellness.

“We are proud of the tradition we have started and we are excited to take it to the next level,” Hirl said. “By adding new events, Hy-Vee can help make a difference to empower kids to move more and reach their potential.”

Registration prices, age ranges and specific dates can be found on our website, www.hy-veekidsfit.com

Austria’s retailer Leder & Schuh AG won the Retail Technology Award Europe 2014 with Wincor Nixdorf as IT solution partner

Retail Technology Award Europe 2014

Paderborn, Germany, 2014-2-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — Shoes and customers’ feet are now measured electronically to ensure a perfect fit, an exceptional shoe-buying experience and, last but not least, a reduction in returns to online shops. Austria’s retailer Leder & Schuh AG took the coveted Retail Technology Award Europe 2014 for this innovative customer service.

The award is presented every year by the EHI Retail Institute for outstanding, innovative IT solutions in the retail sector. A jury of representatives from industry, research institutes and universities chose the winners in three categories from among numerous entries. The prize in the category Best Consumer Experience went to Leder & Schuh AG together with Wincor Nixdorf, its solution partner. The Retail Technology Awards Europe were presented to the winners at a gala held during the EuroShop 2014 retail fair.

Over 20 Leder & Schuh stores have already installed the machines developed by Wincor Nixdorf, which resemble an open shoe box standing upright. To register, customers need to enter their name, address and age on the touchscreen. An integrated foot scanner using light and a camera generates an electronic 3D image of their feet and stores the data on a password-protected online account. HUMANIC Avatar is the name the Austrian retailer has given to the virtual representative of its customer’s feet. Since the footwear sold by the retailer is also measured in 3D, sales staff can fetch perfectly fitting shoes from the on-site store – resulting in a faster and more effective customer service. Customers placing online orders also have access to their measurement data and can therefore rely on the shoes they choose being exactly the right fit. Leder & Schuh AG anticipates that the service will lead to a marked reduction in the return rate for its online business. With the service it aims to “ring in a new shoe-buying era,” comments Peter Horvath, managing director of the Leder & Schuh Group.

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