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Meijer introduces new store format in Chicago suburb

BY Allison Cerra

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Meijer is focusing on innovation with the opening of a new, smaller format, grocery-focused store in Niles, Ill., a suburb of Chicago.

The new Meijer in Niles, which opens after a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday, is about half the size of most Meijer supercenters at 102,000 sq. ft.  The store is grocery- and pharmacy-focused, while still providing some general merchandise offerings. The Niles Meijer will be the 12th Meijer store in suburban Chicago.

The new store will feature many grocery items geared toward the diverse community that surrounds it.

“For several years, we have worked hard throughout the Midwest to offer specific grocery items that are relevant to the unique customer base in the communities we service,” Meijer president Mark Murray said. “The Niles community is represented by a variety of cultures, and we are thrilled to be able to serve such a diverse community.”

Meijer also announced plans to expand this new concept in the Chicago area by building a second grocery-focused store in Orland Park, Ill. Construction of the planned store will begin in the coming weeks and includes a full renovation of a currently vacant retail site. The opening of the Orland Park Meijer is currently planned for later this year and will create up to 150 new jobs inside the store.

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Dollar General among retailers, suppliers providing earthquake relief to Haiti

BY Antoinette Alexander

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. A host of retailers, including Walgreens, Dollar General and CVS Caremark, have made donations to help victims recover from the devastating earthquakes in Haiti, in line with other retailers and suppliers throughout the United States.

“Dollar General is dedicated to helping our friends in Haiti recover from this disaster,” stated Rick Dreiling, Dollar General’s chairman and CEO. “We are committed to our mission of serving others, in good times and in bad. We are heartened by the bravery and resiliency of the people of Haiti.”

The funds are part of relief efforts caused by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Port-au-Price Tuesday. Other such retailers include:

  • Dollar General, which operates more than 8,700 stores in 35 states, has announced a $100,000 donation, and also will include employee donations.
  • Walmart Foundation announced it would donate $500,000.
  • Target announced a $500,000 donation plus one million meals to victims of the earthquake.
  • Publix developed the Haiti Relief & Development Fund, channeled through the American Red Cross.
  • Wegmans has donated $100,000 through its charitable arm and is accepting customer donations at checkout to help the victims of the earthquake in Haiti.
  • Winn-Dixie carried out ‘Neighbors Helping Neighbors’ program for earthquake relief efforts

Also included in the relief efforts are such drug stores as:

  • Walgreens announced a donation of $100,000, plus an employee donation of up to $50,000.
  • CVS said its CVS Caremark Charitable Trust announced that it is donating $175,000 to humanitarian organizations involved in the earthquake relief effort in Haiti. The Trust is donating $125,000 to the American Red Cross, $25,000 to Partners in Health, based in Boston, and $25,000 to Operation Helping Hands, based in Miami.
  • Rite Aid has donated $50,000 and has asked its customers to participate in a donation program $1 relief certificates.
  • Duane Reade has partnered with MoneyGram International to enable Duane Reade customers to wire funds to Haiti free of charge.
  • Shoppers Drug Mart is providing over $100,000 to the relief efforts in Haiti through a combined donation of product and financial support.

In related news, suppliers also have participated in providing aid to victims of the natural disaster, including:

  • Kellogg, which announced a $250,000 donation to the American Red Cross to assist with earthquake relief efforts in Haiti.
  • Unilever will donate $500,000 through its partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme.
  • Biotechnology company Amgen said it will donate $2 million to the Haiti relief efforts.
  • King Pharmaceuticals has donated $200,000 to the American Red Cross for its Haiti earthquake relief efforts
  • The PepsiCo Foundation said it will donate $1 million to the earthquake victims and that the food and beverage company PepsiCo will provide Quaker products as well as bottled water and Gatorade for the disaster victims through its bottlers in Florida and the Dominican Republic.
  • The Coca-Cola Foundation has donated $1 million to the American Red Cross to assist with emergency relief efforts.  In addition, the company’s bottling partner in the Dominican Republic is providing on-the-ground relief with water and other Coca-Cola beverages.
  • General Mills Foundation said it would contribute $250,000 to support the disaster relief and rebuilding efforts.
  • AstraZeneca, according to reports, said it is making a donation of 100,000 pounds to the British Red Cross Emergency Appeal.
  • Nestle Waters North America pledged to donate $1 million in bottled water products to support disaster relief efforts.
  • Abbott and its philanthropic foundation the Abbott Fund have committed to provide $1 million in initial humanitarian aid. This support includes grant funding and donations of critical pharmaceutical and nutritional products to strengthen the ability of humanitarian aid organizations to respond to immediate health needs and an initial quantity of pharmaceutical and nutritional products that are already in use in a hospital in Haiti.
  • Pharmavite, the maker of NatureMade vitamins, has immediately committed approximately $500,000 in financial support and product supplies through multiple support groups. Additionally, the company made a financial donation of $75,000 via the American Red Cross to the ongoing response to the earthquakes in Haiti. In addition, the company allocated approximately 300,000 SOYJOY bars which are shelf stable and allow for convenient distribution.
  • Mars will donate $475,000, including $345,000  to the Red Cross. Another $120,000 will be given to the Search Dog Foundation, an organization sending special dog teams to Haiti to find and rescue people, and $10,000 will be donated to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation. Mars also is donating pet food product and supplies.
  • Procter & Gamble is sending water-purifying packets and cash donations. According to reports, the company said it also will donate products when relief agencies are ready to accept shipments.

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Retail clinics take the wheel as healthcare vehicle

BY Antoinette Alexander

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT The recent report by the National Center for Policy Analysis is yet one more indication of the important role that retail-based health clinics play in today’s overburdened healthcare system.

(THE NEWS: New report emphasizes importance of retail clinics, projects growth. For the full story, click here)

It is no secret that the physician shortage and soaring healthcare costs are hampering patients’ access to medical care and even prompting some to head to hospital emergency rooms — a costly and time-consuming alternative. In fact, of the 119 million visits to ERs in a given year, 55% are for non-emergencies.

Since emerging on the scene about 10 years ago, retail-based clinic operators have increasingly proven the important role they play in providing convenient, quality and low-cost health care, and the efforts are not going unnoticed by the medical community and third-party payers.

The estimates, according to consulting firm Deloitte, suggest that the number of clinics could reach 3,200 by 2014. That’s an impressive number but the story isn’t all about the numbers. Clinic operators have been working to drive clinic utilization and further augment — not replace — the medical community and that includes an expansion of services.

The bottom line is that retail-based clinics continue to gain acceptance and their role in today’s healthcare system continues to gain acknowledgement.

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