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Communicating value of product will help in today’s still-tough economic climate

BY Michael Johnsen

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — Retailers are worried about rising gas prices, and apparently for good reason — while consumers aren’t scrimping at the pump, what they are spending on more gas means less is spent elsewhere. And value continues to be a key decision influencer — 1-in-5 consumers are holding out for the "big" Memorial Day weekend shopping spree as they trade the traditional beach volleyball for blowout deals; and 4-in-5 consumers are on the look-out for rebates in making their purchase decision.

(THE NEWS: Survey: Consumers still cutting back, just not on gas, pharmacy or grocery. For the story, click here)

What does this all tell you? Nothing new, really. It’s still a tough economic climate. Consumer shopping behavior continues to reward value-oriented promotions. They still are making lists at the kitchen table and using the Internet as a pricing equalizer. They are still cutting manufacturer coupons and doubling them against a retail promotion. They still are penny poor and dollar conscious. And it’s still all about communicating the value proposition to today’s consumer so it’s not your product or service that’s getting cut out of the household budget.

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Solantic urgent care changing name to reflect new vision

BY Antoinette Alexander

NASHVILLE, Tenn. and JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Solantic, an operator of urgent care centers in Florida, is changing its name to CareSpot Express Healthcare to represent a new brand and new vision for the company.

"For the past year, our new management team has been reviewing patient feedback and identifying areas of improvement as we create a new consumer-focused company. Over the next few months, we’ll be putting the pieces in place to create a better company, provide better service and deliver consumers quality healthc are at a reasonable price. Those improvements are reflected in our new name, which consumers will see starting in September," stated Solantic/CareSpot Express Healthcare CEO Mike Klein.

By the end of 2012, patients will see:

  • As many as 12 to 15 new CareSpot Express Healthcare centers, including two more centers in Florida;

  • All 29 current Solantic centers in Florida will be remodeled and renamed CareSpot Express Healthcare by October;

  • A new website;           

  • About 150 new hires, bringing the total employment to more than 700 by the end of 2012. Approximately 500 of those jobs will be in Florida;

  • Patients will be able to make appointments from their home computer or smartphones;    

  • Patients will be able to determine center wait times from their home computers or smartphones so they can select the most convenient option among all of the centers in their market;

  • Faster check-ins since new patients will be able to register and provide patient information through the CareSpot website before their visit; and

  • Tablets instead of paper — physicians, nurses and physicians assistants will read patient charts using tablets because all CareSpot centers will have electronic medical records.

Solantic/CareSpot offers treatment for a number of medical needs — such as cold or flu symptoms, cuts, bruises, burns, eye and ear infections, migraines, physicals, health screenings, immunizations and vaccines — as well as a variety of occupational health services, such as drug screening and pre-employment physicals.

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Weis Markets breaks ground on what’s to be grocer’s first LEED-certified store

BY Michael Johnsen

SUNBURY, Pa. — Weis Markets on Thursday announced it has begun the construction of an environmentally innovative 65,000-sq.-ft. superstore in Fogelsville, Pa.

When construction is completed, the store is expected to achieve U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification for measurably reducing or mitigating its environmental impact for sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, material selection and indoor environmental quality.

The Fogelsville unit will be Weis Markets’ first LEED-certified store.

The store also will incorporate advanced refrigeration technologies to reduce refrigerant emissions by 60% compared to the typical supermarket. These systems decrease the store’s impact on the ozone layer and climate change.

The store will feature larger perishable departments, including a produce department with a greater selection of organic produce and a large deli with an expanded food service section, a full-service pharmacy and an in-store café where beer is sold.

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