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Albertsons bids self checkouts farewell

BY Antoinette Alexander

BOISE, Idaho — Albertsons is pulling the plug on its self-checkout units, which will be replaced by standard "H" lanes or express lanes, the grocer has confirmed.

The 217-store grocer that operates in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, New Mexico, Texas and Utah has self-checkout units installed in roughly 100 of its stores. Those units will be removed by the end of the summer.

According to the grocer, the self-checkout units prevent it from providing the level of customer service it wants to offer its shoppers.

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CVS puts emphasis on ExtraCare Rewards program

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS/pharmacy’s ExtraCare Rewards program, which has more than 67 million active cardholders and this year celebrates its 10-year anniversary, announced on Friday the launch of a new interactive digital campaign that encourages cardholders to take advantage of their earned rewards, as well as a new look for the ExtraBucks rewards receipt.

To encourage members to redeem their rewards, CVS/pharmacy is shining a spotlight on "MoneyTrashers," customers who are "trashing their money" by not doing such simple things as checking their receipts for ExtraBucks rewards before tossing them in the trash, or redeeming special coupons cardholders receive by email and at in-store Coupon Centers.

As of July 1, ExtraCare cardholders began receiving their quarterly ExtraBucks rewards, which are automatic savings each shopper earns for scanning their ExtraCare card during each shopping visit. These quarterly rewards are paid out four times a year.

To help more customers realize these rewards can be used to buy almost anything in the store, the CVS/pharmacy Facebook page now features interactive content, including videos, showing shoppers all the ways they might be a "MoneyTrasher," alongside tips to save more at CVS/pharmacy by spending ExtraBucks rewards and taking advantage of savings opportunities. Viewers will be able to vote on their favorite videos and can help spread the word to their friends and family on Facebook and Twitter to help teach them to "Stop Money Trashing."

In addition to the online MoneyTrashers campaign, customers also will see a new look for the ExtraBucks rewards receipt. The new design features larger print intended to grab the customers’ attention so they can take notice of their rewards.

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Walgreens maintains strong social media presence

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens recently surpassed 1 million fans on Facebook, the pharmacy operator announced Friday, and also has integrated its network of more than 7,700 drug stores through mobile platforms on Facebook Places and Foursquare.

Consequently, Walgreens quickly has become the chain drug store retailer with the largest following on Foursquare, while developing a growing presence on other social communities, including Twitter and YouTube.

“We’ve embraced social media, and the consumer engagement we’ve generated shows the value of these tools for our customers and the many ways they interact with Walgreens,” Walgreens president of e-commerce Sona Chawla said. “This is part of our commitment to 360-degree social media marketing. Through these social media tools, we’re able to extend valuable offers and effectively interact with our followers through a number of different online and mobile vehicles.”

In recognition of reaching 1 million Facebook “likes,” Walgreens is offering a free photo book for all of its Facebook fans. The classic, 8.5×11-in. linen photo book is free to Walgreens Facebook fans who get and use the promotional code by visiting the Walgreens Facebook page any time through midnight on July 9.

Shipping charges are not included.

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