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Family Dollar appoints SVP merchandising

BY Allison Cerra

MATTHEWS, N.C. — Holly Shaskey-Platek has been appointed to serve as SVP merchandising for Family Dollar, the retailer announced.

Shaskey-Platek, who has worked at the company since 2008, will lead the home, apparel and seasonal divisions and report to Paul White, EVP and chief merchandising officer. Prior to her new role, she worked as a consultant to provide company-wide change management leadership. Before that, Shaskey-Platek spent a total of 25 years with Target and ShopNBC.

"Capitalizing on a greater share of customers’ discretional needs is critical to our ability to increase the sales productivity of our stores and to grow our market share," White said. "Under Holly’s leadership, we will continue to focus on assortment, merchandise presentation and promotion, supplier relationships, and business capabilities."

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Emdeon expands clinical information exchange capabilities

BY Allison Cerra

NASHVILLE — A provider of healthcare revenue, payment cycle management and clinical information exchange solutions has expanded its technology-enabled solution that aims to improve business and clinical outcomes and care continuity.

Emdeon said the Emdeon Clinical Exchange integrates the company’s electronic prescription routing, lab orders and results exchange, care alerts, medication history, clinical messaging and ONC-certified EHR capabilities into a comprehensive SaaS-based platform. This collection of market-leading clinical components is designed to work with a customer’s existing systems and workflows, and therefore can help minimize financial risk by providing a relatively inexpensive alternative compared with higher cost capital-intensive solutions, Emdeon said.

"Physicians and hospitals that have the ability to electronically connect to labs, pharmacies and managed care companies are better positioned to provide patient-centric collaborative care," Emdeon EVP strategy and product management Miriam Paramore said. "Our enhanced platform for comprehensive clinical information exchange can provide our customers with an even stronger foundation of integrated health information that will support new and emerging healthcare delivery models for years to come."

Emdeon’s network currently reaches approximately 500,000 physicians, 81,000 dentists, 60,000 pharmacies, 5,000 hospitals, 1,200 payers and 300 labs.


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Survey: Consumers may get early start on holiday shopping due to economic outlook

BY Allison Cerra

AUSTIN, Texas — It seems that consumers’ outlook on the economy is influencing how they will shop this upcoming holiday season, according to a new survey.

Conducted by online coupon site RetailMeNot.com, the survey reviewed shopping attitudes and behaviors of consumers and found that only 3% of respondents felt that the economy is in "good shape," 70% of respondents have a dismal view on the economy and 1-in-4 are worried about future purchases. These findings may point to how consumers will shop for the remainder of the year, including this year’s holiday season, RetailMeNot.com said.

"Our most recent survey looked at how consumers plan to shop for the remainder of the year. We believe a lackluster economy combined with high demand for discounts while shopping will lead to more frequent and higher first-time use of coupons over time," said Kristen Remeza, editor-in-chief of RetailMeNot Insider.

The survey noted the following shopping behaviors for the upcoming holiday shopping period:

  • Nearly 4-out-of-10 of respondents (39%) start their holiday shopping before November. Additionally, women are more likely than men to start their shopping earlier than November (46% versus 31%);

  • Almost one-quarter of respondents (23%) said they start shopping in early November, 12% wait to start shopping until Black Friday/Cyber Monday and only 15% wait until after Cyber Monday to begin shopping;

  • 54% of respondents finish their holiday shopping sometime between Black Friday and when they actually give away the gift during the holidays.

  • Nearly 1-in-3 respondents (32%) said they are done with their holiday shopping by the end of Cyber Monday. What’s more, women were more likely than men to say they tend to finish their holiday shopping after Cyber Monday (58% versus 50%); and

  • 59% of consumers still prefer to do their holiday shopping in-store versus online (31%).

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