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Rite Aid kicks off back-to-school deals

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid is offering specials on back-to-school items for the upcoming shopping season, the retail pharmacy chain said Monday.

The National Retail Federation predicted that the weak economy will drive many shoppers to seek items on sale, and 1-in-5 shoppers will look for items at the local drug store. Weekly specials will be featured in circulars during the season, and Rite Aid stores situated near college campuses will carry extra items for students living in dorm rooms.

“In response to today’s value-conscious consumer, we have greatly expanded our value programs in recent years,” Rite Aid SVP marketing John Learish said. “Back-to-school bargain hunters can use our sales circulars as a map and their Wellness+ customer loyalty card as a key to unlock the best back-to-school values at Rite Aid.”

Wellness+ members will be able to collect +UP Rewards for back-to-school purchases until July 30. For example, $1.98 for three 100-sheet Mead composition books will yield a $1 +UP Reward that can be used like cash on future purchases.

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Walgreens goes digital with online greeting card service

BY Michael Johnsen

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — PNI Digital Media on Monday announced an agreement with Walgreens to provide and operate an online stationery service for the Chicago-based pharmacy.

The service will allow Walgreens customers to create and customize unique cards, invitations and other printed material, including personalized photobooks and photo calendars, wedding invitations and business cards.

According to reports, the PNI Digital Media Platform reaches more than 14,000 retail locations around the world, 9,000 of which offer a one-hour pickup service.

PNI also is partnered with Costco, Sam’s Club, CVS/pharmacy, Walmart Canada, Tesco and Fred Meyer, among others.

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Cardinal Health honors Theresa Tolle with Ken Wurster Community Leadership Award

BY Michael Johnsen

LAS VEGAS — Cardinal Health on Sunday named Theresa Tolle, owner of Bay Street Pharmacy in Sebastian, Fla., as the recipient of its Ken Wurster Community Leadership Award at its annual Retail Business Conference.

The award honors a retail independent pharmacist who promotes the ideals of community pharmacy and was created in honor of Tampa, Fla., independent pharmacist Ken Wurster. Wurster was highly regarded for his commitment to serving his customers, epitomizing the role of a pharmacist who took responsibility for the wellness of his community.

Tolle was selected from among more than 50 nominees for her extraordinary community commitment and for offering highly personalized care to her patients.

For example, Tolle employs higher-than-average pharmacy staffing ratios in her store in an effort to spend more time with patients. She also employs a registered nurse to work with diabetic patients and makes house calls. For the last three years, Tolle has been recognized by the Florida Pharmacy Association for her outstanding leadership, mentorship and motivation with the Bowl of Hygeia Award in 2008, the IPA Roman Maximo Corrons Inspiration and Motivation Award in 2009, and the Jean Lamberti Leadership/Mentorship Award in 2010.

In honor of Tolle’s commitment to community service, Cardinal Health will donate $10,000 in her name to the University of Florida College of Pharmacy.

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