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Ahold ‘shocked’ by Boston attack, CEO tells shareholders

BY Alaric DeArment

AMSTERDAM — Royal Ahold CEO Dick Boer expressed condolences for the victims of Monday’s bombing of the Boston Marathon in a meeting with shareholders Wednesday.

"The Boston area is, of course, one of our main U.S. markets, and our thousands of employees are shocked by Monday’s events," Boer said. "Our thoughts are with everyone in the city of Boston and the surrounding communities, and especially the families and friends of those affected."

The company’s Stop & Shop banner has a prominent and long-standing presence in the area.

Boer also gave a summary of events at the company in 2012, highlighting collective bargaining agreements with UFCW local unions to find solutions to cost increases related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that work for the company and its employees. Two-thirds of the company’s U.S. employees are members of unions, Boer said.

Boer also highlighted the purchase of 15 Genuardi’s stores in the Philadelphia by Giant-Carlisle and the expansion of the Peapod online grocery service, including the opening of new pickup points.

 

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Kleenex sponsors sweepstakes for healthy schools, kids

BY Jason Owen

DALLAS — Starting today, April 17, Kleenex brand, the only facial tissue with Sneeze Shield in all of its tissues, according to the company, is giving three schools a chance to win 250,000 eBoxTops for the 2013-2014 school year through the Kleenex brand in the Classroom sweepstakes.

To enter, teachers, school administrators and parent volunteers should visit TeacherLists.com and create a school list that includes Kleenex brand tissue with Box Tops, and then choose a school to be eligible for the prize. Three winning schools will be chosen at random on or about Aug. 1, 2013, to receive 250,000 eBoxTops each, the equivalent of $25,000.

"As the only facial tissue that participates in Box Tops for Education and the only one with Sneeze Shield in all of its tissues, the Kleenex brand remains committed to healthy schools and healthy kids," said Martin Soderlund, Kleenex brand manager. "This year, we are taking that support one step further by giving three schools the opportunity to win 250,000 eBoxTops simply by adding Kleenex brand tissue with Box Tops to their back to school list. It’s a small step that can make a big change for the winning schools."

The Kleenex brand is committed to education year round and is the only facial tissue brand to participate in the Box Tops for Education program. Look for Box Tops coupons on Kleenex brand facial tissue, including 160-count and 210-count everyday tissue and Kleenex brand 112-count Anti-Viral Tissue.

Through Box Tops for Education, the Kleenex brand gives households with school-age children the opportunity to earn cash for their child’s school," said Berit Morse, Box Tops for Education manager. "To date, the Kleenex brand has contributed more than $13 million to schools nationwide, which has been used to help fill the gaps in school budgets, including the purchase of computers, text books and other essential learning tools."

And now, Kleenex brand tissue is thicker and more absorbent, giving teachers even more reason to add it to the list. Kleenex brand tissues come in a variety of portable and convenient on-the-go packages, making it easy for moms to help keep stuff off their kids’ hands wherever they go:

  • The Slim Pack: It is thin and sleek, so you can always keep a tissue on hand. Their trendy design makes it the perfect accessory for hip tweens and teens, while their convenient size makes it easy to slide them into pockets, back packs and bags;

  • The Car Wedge: It fits perfectly in the car door or glove compartment — no need to lug around a box of tissue or fumble in a purse for a tissue while driving; and

  • The Go Pack: Strong, soft and absorbent, Kleenex brand Go Packs have been there for happy tears and stuffy noses since 1924.

Visit Kleenex.com to learn more about the sweepstakes and for helpful tools to teach your kids how to Sneeze Shield wherever they go.


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Costco, IRI update Costco CRX program

BY Alaric DeArment

CHICAGO — Costco and IRI announced Wednesday that they will change a program that the club retailer describes as a single, global solution for category, point-of-sale and supply chain tracking, as well as extend the program to Mexico.

The two companies announced "significant enhancements" to the Costco Collaborative Retail Exchange platform, which was launched in 2004 to give manufacturers a detailed means of tracking business at the chain, using a single tool to get a full view of the company’s global business. The program was migrated to the Liquid Data technology platform in 2012, enabling faster insights.

"Costco is excited to debut the updated Costco CRX program as our enhanced data and technology will make it even easier for our valued manufacturer comity to obtain specific, real-time information about their business at Costco," IRI EVP retail client solutions Brad Shelton said. "Costco is consistently impressed with IRI’s ability to transform our POS information into actionable business insights for manufacturers, and we’re confident that the platform’s new global POS and supply chain management capabilities will further improve our manufactures’ communications and overall success in Costco stores."

The enhancements include a Category Tools service. Previously, vendors could only access their own data, but Category Tools allows them to measure performance against the rest of their category. In addition, the company has expanded the program to Mexico by launching Costco CRX Mexico, citing its success in the United States and Canada of enlisting 750 global vendors to participate.

"The Costco CRX platform has been a tremendous success in the United States and Canada, so we’re thrilled to be able to offer our manufactures in Mexico the same quality solution and enable a more global view of Costco’s sales," Costco Mexico director of sales Mark Feldman said.

 

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