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Reports: Costco brings ‘Made in America’ to Mexican middle class

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — "MIA" usually stands for "missing in action," but according to published reports, some consumers south of the U.S. border take it to stand for something that Americans may consider cause for celebration.

ABC News reported on its website that Issaquah, Wash.-based club chain Costco is becoming a popular shopping destination for Mexico’s growing middle class, in part because of the number of what one interviewed customer called the "MIA" products (i.e., Made in America) that it carries, which customers perceive to be of higher quality than their Mexican-made counterparts.

These products include private-label baby wipes made by Orangeburg, N.Y.-based Nice-Pak Products and sold under Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand. The article reported that the wipes are Costco’s top-selling product in Mexico City despite Mexican-made wipes costing less.

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Shoppers Drug Mart to offer flu vaccinations in Ontario

BY Antoinette Alexander

TORONTO — In light of a decision by the Ontario government to expand the scope of practice for pharmacists to include administering flu shots, Shoppers Drug Mart has announced that it will offer vaccination clinics in more than 750 stores in Ontario and across Canada.

Under the new regulations, pharmacists in Ontario now can administer flu immunization by injection or inhalation to a patient who is 5 years of age and older.

In anticipation of the new legislation, more than 600 Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacists across the province already have completed their flu vaccination training and flu clinics are being offered in more than 460 stores to help Ontarians prepare for cold and flu season this year, the retailer stated.

"Preparation is crucial to avoid getting the flu," Shoppers Drug Mart EVP pharmacy and health care Dorian Lo said. "The provincial government’s decision to expand the scope of practice for pharmacists and include them in the flu vaccination system is an important step in helping to make flu vaccinations more accessible for Ontarians."

Starting Oct. 15, Canadians wondering where to get the flu shot can go to www.shoppersdrugmart.ca to find their local Shoppers Drug Mart offering flu vaccinations.

"Local pharmacists can play an active role in keeping Canadians healthy and are available to answer patients’ questions about the flu virus, and provide personal advice on how to protect against it," added Victor Wong, Shoppers Drug Mart associate-owner and pharmacist. "Being able to administer the flu shot means that pharmacists are in a better position to provide the best care to patients."

Every year there are new strains of influenza and new flu vaccines are developed to protect against them, which is why it’s important to get a flu shot every year. According to Health Canada, anywhere from 10% to 25% of Canadians come down with the seasonal flu virus each year.


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Walgreens recognized by EPA for supply chain leadership

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Tuesday received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2012 SmartWay Excellence Award, the organization’s highest recognition for demonstrated leadership in supply chain goods movement. The award — recognizing Walgreens as an industry leader in freight supply chain efficiency, performance and environmental sustainability — was announced at the American Trucking Associations Annual Management Conference and Exhibition in Las Vegas.

By optimizing routes to be more efficient and creating more effective ways to decrease empty miles when no product was being hauled, Walgreens fleet decreased its carbon footprint by nearly 15% between 2010 and 2011, according to SmartWay data. The fleet serves all of the company’s locations within the continental U.S. More than 3,000 companies participate in the SmartWay program. Of those, Walgreens is one of 40 companies to receive this award.

"Walgreens is always looking for innovative ways to improve performance when it comes to efficiency and environmental sustainability," Walgreens SVP supply chain management Reuben Slone said. "We continue exploring new technologies and strategies to improve fuel efficiency, lower costs and encourage stewardship of the environment."

This year’s EPA SmartWay award is the first time awardees were recognized for environmental performance using data based on the results of the program’s "second generation" quantification and reporting tools. SmartWay participants are all now using these tools to conduct detailed reporting of their freight operations. This performance benchmarking helps to inform industry and the marketplace on freight operations’ energy and environmental efficiency, supply chain carbon and emissions performance, and helps to optimize operations.

"EPA is pleased to recognize this year’s Excellence Award recipients and I commend Walgreens for its leadership in moving goods efficiently and reducing the environmental impact of freight through the second generation SmartWay Transport program," stated Chris Grundler, acting director of EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality. "This commitment is helping lead the freight industry to a more sustainable future."

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