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Rite Aid kicks off Fill Up & Fuel Up program

BY Allison Cerra

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid announced the return of its popular Fill Up & Fuel Up program, a sweepstakes that rewards eight customers with a year’s worth of free gas, totaling $2,600.

Now through April 24, patients who transfer their prescriptions to Rite Aid with a qualifying coupon will receive a $25 Rite Aid gift card for each prescription, up to $50. For every prescription transferred, they also will be entered in the drawing for a chance to win a year’s worth of free gas valued at $2,600. They will continue to be eligible for weekly drawings through April 24, as long as their transferred prescriptions stay with Rite Aid. Every prescription transferred with a coupon gives the customer another chance to win. Fill Up & Fuel Up coupons are available in Rite Aid weekly circulars and in other advertising and promotional materials.

The offer is valid only on prescriptions not previously filled at or transferred from other Rite Aid locations, Rite Aid said. Certain other exceptions apply. Information on the sweepstakes will be available in the Rite Aid weekly circulars or by asking Rite Aid pharmacists.

This sweepstakes is available in all states in which Rite Aid operates, except New York and New Jersey because of state law.

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Bashas’ rejects Albertsons’ buyout bid

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Bashas’ has turned down a nearly $300 million buyout offer from Albertsons, according to published reports.

According to an American City Business Journals article, the Chandler, Ariz.-based Bashas’ was uninterested in a buyout offer of $290 million for the chain.

Bashas’ filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July, announcing the following month that it would close 14 stores. Still, the published reports quoted an attorney representing the company as saying that the reorganization plan would ensure Bashas’ remained in the hands of the Bashas family, which has owned it since 1932.

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Shoppers’ new initiatives sets chain up to become retail giant

BY Michael Johnsen

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT While the decision to move in this direction may have been made before Chong Bang crossed the border, there is no questioning that industry watchers will be focused on what SDM’s new top merchant will do to further improve the stores.

(THE NEWS: Shoppers Drug Mart takes a page out of CCR playbook. For the full story, click here)

That has a lot to do with Bang’s pedigree — he’s directed a significant merchandising program at Walgreens, one of the leading pureplay pharmacies in the United States. And now he’s at Shoppers, the leading drug store retailer north of the border.

Bang will be armed at Shoppers with the sales data generated by 9.7 million members of the pharmacy’s Optimum loyalty program, 80% of whom are women. When you consider that there are only 34 million Canadians, that means that almost 1-in-3 Canadians are members of Shoppers’ loyalty program, and almost 1-in-2 Canadian women.

Presently, Shoppers plans to grow its square footage at a clip of 8% to 9% with a new distribution center slated to open in 2010 to help support that growth. And that’s really going to be Bang’s merchandising challenge — finding a way to slip one more item into that Shoppers marketbasket in a saturated marketplace. Bang certainly can’t build front-end sales by attracting new customers. There just aren’t that many Canadians who don’t already shop at Shoppers.

For Bang, it’ll be a question of optimizing categorical synergies and in doing so help drive impulse purchases. Similar to Walgreens, Shoppers is on a mission to make a good shopping experience better, and Bang’s expected to help realize that goal.

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