Kmart, Sears offer ship-to-home for online layaway purchases
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Sears Holdings now is offering its Kmart and Sears customers the option of ship-to-home delivery for items purchased through online layaway.
The new service, also available on store kiosks, now enables shoppers to select, purchase and have the items delivered directly to their homes, bypassing the layaway line altogether. Both retailers will begin the exclusive layaway ship-to-home service starting Nov. 7.
Sears has also joined Kmart in removing all layaway service fees both online and in-store leading up to the holiday season.
"We witnessed a positive consumer response from Kmart’s free layaway news, and the latest announcement of home delivery and Sears’ free layaway are proof of our commitment to providing our customers value and convenience," said Jai Holtz, VP financial services at Sears Holdings. "Our exclusive online layaway ship-to-home delivery service provides a convenient alternative to customers who prefer to make their layaway purchases from the privacy of their own home."
Independence Blue Cross expands coverage to urgent care, retail clinics
PHILADELPHIA — Independence Blue Cross announced that it has expanded members’ access to care by adding coverage for treatment at urgent care centers and retail clinics, and also has developed a new Web tool to help members locate these facilities.
The new Web tool is designed to make it easier for members to find urgent care centers and retail clinics for care for nonemergency conditions when their personal physicians are not available, like evenings and weekends.
"We know our members lead busy, demanding lives and sometimes need access to good medical care when their family doctors aren’t available, but don’t want to go to busy, more costly emergency rooms," stated Daniel Hilferty, IBC president and CEO. "That’s why we’ve added coverage for urgent care centers and retail health clinics which provide safe, cost-effective care quickly and conveniently. This is just one more way we’re changing the game so members can get care when they need it the most, along with the tools and information to make wise healthcare decisions."
"Whether members choose to visit one of our network doctors, a retail health clinic or an urgent care center, each can serve as a convenient alternative for conditions that require prompt medical attention but do not pose an immediate, serious health threat," added Richard Snyder, IBC’s chief medical officer. "Options like these may also control unnecessary visits to the ER and help reduce overcrowding by enabling doctors to focus on patients with truly, life-threatening emergencies."
A 2010 RAND study has shown that roughly 17% of all visits to hospital emergency departments nationally could potentially be treated at retail based health clinics or urgent care centers for an estimated savings to consumers of $4.4 billion. The study reports that ER visits also are getting longer, with Pennsylvania ranked 22nd nationally in the length of its ER waits — of nearly four hours — according to the Emergency Department Pulse Report, Press Ganey Associates, 2010.
Kraft’s snacking biz officially becomes Mondelez International
NEW YORK — Kraft Foods officially changed its name to Mondelez International after spinning off its North American grocery business on Oct. 1.
On Wednesday, the company, led by chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld, rang the NASDAQ opening bell to mark the second day of trading under the company’s new ticker symbol "MDLZ."
"This is a very special day," Rosenfeld said. "We’re making our debut as Mondelez International and unleashing a global snacking powerhouse that’s uniquely positioned to delight consumers. We’re the world’s greatest startup. Out of the gate, we have $36 billion in revenue [based on 2011 revenues] and leading positions in every market in which we compete. What’s more, our brands have been loved by consumers around the world for generations. Our board, executive team and employees are energized by the exciting future that lies ahead of us. We’re confident we have the right plans in place to deliver top-tier revenue and earnings growth over the long term."
Mondelez International’s portfolio includes such brands as Cadbury, Jacobs, LU, Milka, Nabisco, Oreo, Tang and Trident, to name a few.