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eBay renews regional fulfillment services for Walgreens

BY Michael Johnsen

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. — eBay Enterprise on Thursday announced it will renew its regional fulfillment services for Walgreens.

Walgreens first signed with eBay Enterprise in July 2011 for distributing its West Coast Drugstore.com business and then in the fall of 2012 for Walgreens.com. This renewal agreement will provide ship-to-store and direct-to-consumer West Coast order fulfillment from the eBay Enterprise fulfillment center in Reno, Nevada.

“Today’s consumer expects their order quickly, hassle-free and with nominal shipping fees if any,” stated Tobias Hartmann, interim president of eBay Enterprise. “Our goal is to provide retailers with warehouse and store-based fulfillment solutions that provide a competitive advantage and exceed their customers’ expectations to build long-lasting loyalty.”

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Walmart’s first owned health clinic could mean big changes ahead for convenient care industry

BY Antoinette Alexander

As reported by DSN’s sister publication Retailing Today, Walmart has opened in Copperas Cove, Texas, its first owned healthcare clinic.

Labeed Diab, Walmart’s president of health and wellness, explained during a briefing in advance of its shareholder meeting that the new clinic is a way for the big-box retailer to provide convenient and almost free (i.e., $4 for employees) access to health care. And, because the retailer avoids the expense of having its associates visit other doctors, it can pass the savings along to customers with a reduced price of $40.

This real question here: “What would it mean for the industry if Walmart seriously jumped into the convenient care clinic business?”

There are currently about 1,600 convenient care clinics and researchers expect robust growth in the coming years. One projection provided by Marketdata Enterprises expects the number to reach 2,700 sites by 2016. No doubt that number could skyrocket if Walmart jumped into the market with both feet.

Just consider the fact that, as of April 30, Walmart operated more than 4,200 stores within the United States, most of which are Supercenters with more than 3,300 locations. Just a small — very small — fraction of its stores have currently have clinics.

Back in 2009, Walmart announced that it intended to contract with local hospitals and other organizations to open as many as 400 in-store health clinics over the next two to three years, but it had to close some locations. Today, Walmart’s website lists approximately 90 “Clinics at Walmart” in operation. Each of these medical clinics is owned and operated by an independent company that is not affiliated with Walmart.

The news that Walmart has opened its first owned healthcare clinic hardly comes as a big surprise. Back in 2011, Kalorma Information issued its report on the retail clinic industry, dubbed "Retail Clinics 2011: Market Assessment, Supplier Sales, Key Players and Trends," and noted that Walmart had sent out a request-for-information document to strategic partners, which was obtained by media sources.

The document indicated that Walmart planned to offer primary care services to its customers and sought a partner to help do that. Further statements indicated that the retailer intended to take advantage of healthcare reform and the possibility of millions of newly insured.

While it’s not entirely clear if this first owned healthcare clinic is a result of, or related to, that request-for-information, what is clear is that, if Walmart expands the concept, the convenient care industry could be in for a significant disruption.

We are certainly closely watching and, apparently, so are you. Soon after posting the article on the DSN site, it rose up the “most viewed” list of DSN articles with record speed.

To read more on Walmart’s shareholder meeting, click here.

 

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Bazooka partners with DreamWorks for new merchandise

BY Ryan Chavis

NEW YORK — Bazooka Candy Brands will collaborate with DreamWorks Animation on a limited-edition candy line, as well as a multiplatform merchandising program, to support the film "How to Train Your Dragon 2." The film opens in theaters June 13.

The campaign will bring consumers a limited-edition Dragon Berry flavor and themed wrapping for Bazooka Candy Brands’ top-selling candies, which include Jumbo Push Pop, Juicy Drop Pop, Baby Bottle Pop and Ring Pop.

“’How to Train Your Dragon 2′ is set to be one of the biggest movie events of the summer, and the limited-edition line will provide fans with another opportunity to enjoy this big animation debut beyond the theater,” said Anthony Trani, VP marketing, Bazooka Candy Brands. “We believe our collaboration with DreamWorks Animation for this release is a perfect fit, as the fun characters and storyline fully resonate with the entertaining nature of our candy portfolio.”

 

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