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CVS Caremark, New England Patriots teamed up for Veterans Day Tribute

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark and the New England Patriots teamed up for an early Veterans Day tribute on Nov. 9 at Gillette Stadium’s Dana-Farber Field House.

CVS Caremark worked with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Boston Adaptive Sports program – a program of the VA Boston Healthcare System – to invite 50 veterans of all abilities from across New England to a special football skills camp on the Patriots’ practice field. The CVS Caremark/New England Patriots Veterans Skills Camp paired former Patriots players with veterans from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire Rhode Island and Vermont for a day of fun and skills training.  

The special camp, hosted by CVS Caremark and the Patriots, kicked off with veterans from all branches of the military taking the field through an oversized Patriots helmet. It continued with veterans honing their football skills at blocking, throwing and kicking stations run by Patriots alumni Max Lane, Jon Williams, Pete Brock and Eric Alexander; lunch on the sidelines; and an opportunity to get autographs from and take pictures with the Patriots alumni, cheerleaders, and mascot Pat Patriot. As part of the camp, the veterans also received tickets for a visit to The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon.

The CVS Caremark/New England Patriots Veterans Skills Camp was an extension of CVS Caremark’s commitment to individuals with disabilities and the company’s overall commitment to supporting military and veteran-focused organizations.

“We are proud to provide this experience to the men and women who have served our country,” Eileen Howard Boone, SVP of corporate philanthropy and social responsibility for CVS Caremark said. “Our company has a longstanding commitment to veterans, and we are so pleased to see veterans of all ages and abilities and from all branches of the armed forces enjoying this event. And it was such a pleasure to team with our friends at the New England Patriots for the second year in a row on this skills camp as they share our commitment to veterans and to individuals of all abilities.”

Over the years, CVS Caremark has provided charitable support to military and veteran-focused organizations, including the National Guard, Fisher House, Operation Military Embrace and the USO. The company has also worked with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes program to identify and hire veterans, has partnered with the Boston Red Sox for the last two years on baseball skills camps at Fenway Park for veterans of all abilities and with the nonprofit organization Golf For All on a series of golf clinics for veterans of all abilities. In addition, the company has established a colleague resource group, called Valor, for veterans.

 

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Consumers’ desire for engagement evident as Target expands Beauty Concierge program

BY Antoinette Alexander

Following a successful test run last summer, Target has announced the expansion of its Beauty Concierge program to nearly 100 stores in three metro areas across the country — making the program now available in nearly 300 Target locations nationwide.

Why is this important? Customers want an experience when shopping. And getting customers more engaged in product and experience with "brand-agnostic experts" is a safe bet.

This is also clearly in line with Target’s formula to serving its guests — simplicity plus connectedness equals engagement. This formula is at the core of Target’s strategy, touching and shaping every aspect of its business, including beauty.

The program was originally tested in the Chicago market last summer and subsequently launched at stores in Los Angeles, Washington, Baltimore, Minneapolis, Orange County, Calif., and northern Virginia. Now it has been implemented at stores in New York and New Jersey, the San Francisco Bay Area and Dallas-Fort Worth.

Beauty mavens are obviously responding favorably to having a specially trained beauty concierge help them navigate the sea of beauty and personal care products that line the shelves. But the program’s success really comes as little surprise, especially when you consider the findings of a recent survey by Experticity.

As previously reported by Drug Store News, the study of 600 U.S. consumers showed that consumers value sales associate expertise above all else, but found that consumers often find such expertise lacking.

When asked by Experticity to rate the services consumers most desire and value from retail sales associates, the top four were:

  • Product knowledge (73%);

  • Help selecting the correct product (71%);
  • Category knowledge (69%);
  • and 
Help finding alternatives when the first choice is not available (68%).

Clearly, consumers want retail to play a hands-on role with their buying decisions and beauty is the ideal playground. Beauty shoppers, in particular, love to be engaged and experiment with the latest and greatest in shades, potions and lotions.

And it is important to note that Target isn’t alone in its endeavor. Several mass-market retailers are taking steps to further enhance the shopping experience in beauty, which includes staffing its stores with beauty advisers. For example, Walgreens has more than 26,000 beauty advisers across its network, and CVS/pharmacy also has some beauty advisers in its locations across the country.

 

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Reports: Tops Friendly Markets management buys chain from Morgan Stanley Capital Partners

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — The management team of Tops Friendly Markets has purchased the chain from the private equity firm that owned it, according to published reports.

The Rochester, N.Y., Democrat & Chronicle reported Friday that Tops CEO Frank Curci and five other executives were buying the chain from Morgan Stanley Capital Partners, which has owned the chain since 2007. Tops operates 155 stores in upstate New York, western Vermont and northern Pennsylvania under the Tops, Grand Union and Bryant’s banners.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, and it is expected to close by the end of this year, but it will not affect the management of the stores, the Democrat & Chronicle reported. Spokeswoman Katie McKenna told the newspaper that Morgan Stanley had been "very supportive" of Tops over the last five years, during which the chain has doubled its number of stores and increased its geographic footprint.

 

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