RETAIL NEWS

Rite Aid announces Black Friday, holiday season savings

BY Gisselle Gaitan

Black Friday deals are currently getting underway and Rite Aid stores throughout the nation are kick starting the shopping season by offering its lowest offers of the year. With sales starting as early as 8 a.m. on Thursday and 7 a.m. in select locations on Black Friday, the Pennsylavania-based retailer hopes to entice consumers.

The lowest offers of the year will become available through the retailer from Nov. 23 to Nov. 25, when using Rite Aid’s wellness+ with Plenti card. Stocking stuffers and holiday essentials that will be on sale include:

· A special Black Friday deal on the Air Wars Battle Drone, available for $59.99;

· Buy one, get one free on select As Seen on TV products including Gotham Steel Square Pan, Snuggle Tails, Magic Tracks, and assorted Tac Light products;

· Fragrance sets for men and women including Nautica, Vera Wang, J Lo and Stetson for $13.99;

· Revlon Super Lustrous or Moon Drop Lipsticks two for $6 or a Wet n Wild mini nail set for $2.99;

· Earn up to 1200 Plenti points with the purchase of a $50 Home Depot, Gap, Old Navy or Banana Republic gift cards;

· Duracell batteries are on sale at two for $12, Duracell surge protectors and power banks are buy one get one free and holiday gift wrap and boxed cards are buy one get two free.

· Planters Peanuts Holiday three-pack for only $5.99 or Gourmet Butter Cookies for $1.77;

· Buy one, get two free deal on Hershey’s Pot of Gold or Russell Stover boxed chocolates; and

· Two for $9 DiGiornio 12-inch Pizzas, 2-liter Coke, Pepsi or 7UP products for .97 cents and assorted coffee products from Folgers and Maxwell House for only $4.99.

Rite Aid customers also will be able to save throughout the week on holiday décor, which includes a variety of pre-lit Christmas trees, traditional ornaments, festive wreaths, nutcrackers, and much more. From Nov. 26 to Dec. 2, wellness+ with Plenti members will receive 30% off online purchases and free shipping on orders over $34.99.

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Loblaw begins pilot on subscription based value program

BY Gisselle Gaitan

A fee-based subscription pilot program tailored to the growing number of consumers shopping both in-person and online has been launched by Loblaw. Titled PC Insiders, the program looks to reward Canadians in ways that can’t be found anywhere else, according to the Toronto-based company.

“Our customers are looking for new ways to save time and money as they shop both in our stores and on our e-commerce sites,” Galen G. Weston, Chairman and CEO, Loblaw Companies Limited, said. “Many Canadians, in particular busy parents, find themselves shopping several of our brands, both online and in person. PC Insiders is our next step in making that whole experience easier and more rewarding.”

The program will be a loyalty based digital platform targeted towards select PC Plus members who also are President’s Choice Financial Mastercard holders. Consumers will be offered perks on in-store and online products, brands and services at a cost of $9.99 per month or $99 per year.

During pilot, subscribers will receive various benefits when using their PC Financial Mastercard that include:

  • 20% back in PC points on the essentials that families need, including diapers, infant formula, and all PC Organics products in-store and online;
  • 20% back in PC points on all Joe Fresh products in-store and online;
  • 20x the PC points every day when customers shop online at beautyBOUTIQUE.ca;
  • Free Click & Collect pick-up service at nearly 200 locations;
  • Free shipping on all beautyBOUTIQUE.ca and Joe Fresh purchases; and
  • $99 PC travel credit once a year when booking a trip on pctravel.ca (annual subscriptions only).

PC Insiders has launched to select PC Plus loyalty members in Ontario and British Columbia, and will expand in 2018 to include additional subscribers across the country. At that time, it will be available to members of the PC Optimum loyalty program, which launches Feb. 2018. This new loyalty program combines Loblaw’s existing loyalty programs, PC Plus and Shoppers Optimum.

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Hy-Vee builds out infrastructure as it adapts to customer needs

BY David Salazar

Hy-Vee has outlined its plans to bolster its in-store and fulfillment offerings, announcing renovations and new facilities across the retailer’s eight-state footprint. The West Des Moines, Iowa-based company said that its efforts are aimed at adapting its offerings to meet customers’ changing lifestyle needs.

“This fiscal year, we have approved one of our largest capital expenditure budgets in our company’s history to make sure we are not only meeting our customers’ needs, but fulfilling their wants, now and in the future,” Hy-Vee chairman, president and CEO Randy Edeker said. “We’ve studied customer habits and lifestyles and know that fewer people are cooking meals at home than ever before. We want our offerings to help individuals who are looking for something healthy to eat on the go as well as families who want to enjoy a sit-down meal that they can easily claim as their own.”

Among the projects currently taking place is the construction of a 240,000-sq.-ft. production facility in Ankeny, Iowa that will serve as the company’s central bakery as the company moves to offer more meal kits and fresh prepared options. The Ankeny expansion also will see the expansion of Hy-Vee’s PDI distribution subsidiary, the company said. In Chariton, Iowa, Hy-Vee is building a 48,000-sq.-ft. production facility adjacent to its current distribution center there, with plans for the new facility to support its Short Cuts produce brand that will launch in 2018. Hy-Vee also is constructing its new Fast & Fresh convenience and meal solutions banner in Des Moines and Davenport, Iowa, with West Des Moines set to see another small-concept store in 2018, according to the company.

Hy-Vee also said that it plans to open three new e-commerce fulfillment centers in Kansas City, the Twin Cities and Omaha, Neb., which the company said would allow it to meet the growing online ordering needs of its consumer base.

As it builds out its distribution, production and fulfillment, Hy-Vee said it would be revamping its Hy-Vee Market Grille Restaurants, turning them into Market Grille Express locations, which is aimed at catering to on-the-go consumers. Each Market Grille Express location also will include a full-service bar. The company said that it would soon make an announcement about the first of 26 planned Wahlburgers restaurants, and that it would be communicating with its shoppers via direct mail more.

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