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Meijer offers rewards on baby items through mPerks program

BY Alaric DeArment

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Customers at Meijer can use their digital coupons to get savings on baby items, the mass merchandise retailer said Thursday.

Meijer announced the introduction of the mPerks Baby Rewards program, offering rewards on baby merchandise purchases, allowing customers to personalize rewards and earn $10 off their shopping purchases for every $100 they spend on items like diapers, baby wipes, training pants and toddler food. The retailer’s expansion of the program comes soon after the number of prescribers passed 1.7 million; enrolled customers saved $25 million so far this year, with as many as 45,000 customers signing up for the program each week.

The new program is the second expansion to mPerks this summer. Last month, Meijer introduced Pharmacy Rewards, allowing customers to personalize savings and earn rewards in the areas where they shop whenever they fill a prescription. mPerks itself was launched in fall 2010.

"There are so many purchases parents make every week, so Baby Rewards is just one more way we are going beyond our everyday low prices and weekly specials to help shoppers save based on their buying habits," Meijer VP customer marketing and emerging technology Michael Ross said. "We are really hoping customers will take advantage of being an mPerks member, especially now that there are even more savings at the checkout." 

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MinuteClinic, Baptist Health Care form clinical affiliation

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. and PENSACOLA, Fla. — CVS Caremark’s MinuteClinic and Baptist Health Care, the largest healthcare network in northwest Florida with a staff of more than 600 physicians, has entered into a clinical affiliation to enhance access to healthcare services in Escambia, Okaloosa and Santa Rosa counties.

Under the agreement, Baptist Health Care physicians will serve as medical directors for four MinuteClinic walk-in medical clinics inside select CVS/pharmacy stores in Cantonment, Crestview, Gulf Breeze and Niceville, and any future locations in the region. In addition, MinuteClinic and Baptist will collaborate on patient education and disease management initiatives and will inform patients of the services each offer.

"Through this affiliation, we can build on Baptist Health Care’s 60-year tradition of compassionate care in Northwest Florida by creating more convenient access to high quality medical services in the community," stated Andrew Sussman, president of MinuteClinic and SVP/associate chief medical officer at CVS Caremark.  "We look forward to having Baptist Health Care physicians collaborate with MinuteClinic nurse practitioners to provide quality oversight, teaching and back-up so MinuteClinic can provide the best care at the lowest overall cost for patients and employers."

"At Baptist Health Care, we continuously explore opportunities to better serve patients by providing easy-to-access quality care in our community," added Brian Matson, Baptist Health Care SVP and chief strategy and business development officer. "Our affiliation with CVS helps us achieve that. We are pleased to be able to form affiliations with well-respected national organizations to improve the quality of health for those we serve while remaining the area’s only locally-owned not-for-profit healthcare system."

MinuteClinic and Baptist Health Care will begin to work toward fully integrating electronic medical record systems to streamline communication around all aspects of each individual’s care. With patient permission, MinuteClinic will electronically share medical histories and visit summaries with other Baptist Health Care locations in northwest Florida.  In the meantime, MinuteClinic will continue its standard practice of sending patient visit summaries to primary care providers via fax or mail, typically within 24 hours, with patient consent.


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Target tests new baby sections at 10 Chicago stores

BY Alaric DeArment

MINNEAPOLIS — Target is hoping to enhance the experience of customers shopping for baby items with a new pilot program in Chicago.

(See below for a video from Target about the program.)

The mass merchandise retailer said the program, which it is testing in 10 stores, would include a redesigned layout, knowledgeable "Baby Advisors" and interactive digital content. The advisers offer personalized and unbiased information about baby products using in-store iPads to help customers view the chain’s product assortment, providing what the chain called an "extended aisle" for access to additional items and information. The new layout allows customers to more easily find items and interact with products through lowered displays. Interactive content and expert advice is being offered under a partnership with BabyCenter.

"We’ve heard from moms that they love shopping for baby, but are hungry for information on what’s best and want help in making the smartest choices," Target group VP stores for the Chicago region Mary-Farrell Tarbox said. "Target is excited to officially unveil its enhanced baby experience program in the Chicago area. This offering will help guests feel more confident about their purchases and to easily navigate Target’s baby offerings, both in-store and online."


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