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Rite Aid to offer free diabetes guide

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid will offer a free 18-page diabetes guide, developed with the American Diabetes Association, and a diabetes tip booklet in all stores during October, November and December, the company announced Monday.

The guide offers advice on managing diabetes and helps identify symptoms and risk factors for the disease. The guide also includes information on health nutrition and exercise, medications and diabetes-related products as well as a risk assessment test from the ADA, information on diabetes management for patients living with diabetes, a food diary and a chart to record blood glucose readings.

A new component of Rite Aid’s year-long Diabetes Awareness Campaign is the 360-degree/365 Day Diabetes Alliance with multimedia company dLife. Through its partnership with dLife, Rite Aid will provide valuable lifestyle advice to help those who have been diagnosed with diabetes live healthier lives, through special newsletters, “Diabetes Minutes,” airing on Rite Aid’s in-store radio and dLifeTV segments that will be available on www.riteaid.com.

In addition, Rite Aid pharmacists across the country will lead customers in helping find a cure for diabetes through Rite Aid’s “Walk with a Pharmacist for Diabetes” program. Customers can sign up to walk with or support their local Rite Aid team at all participating stores or by visiting www.diabetes.org/stepout-riteaid.

And in November, all stores will sell $1 Step Out To Fight Diabetes pin-ups, with all proceeds going directly to the ADA for diabetes research, information and advocacy initiatives.

“This is all part of Rite Aid’s year-round commitment to help patients manage and live well with diabetes with special emphasis this time of year because November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Many people have diabetes, or care for someone who does, and it’s important for them to know that they don’t have to manage the disease alone,” stated Mark de Bruin, Rite Aid executive vice president of pharmacy. “Rite Aid and the ADA know that awareness and education are the keys to early diagnosis and management, as well as prevention of diabetes and its complications. Together, we offer patients the programs, services and support needed to lead healthier lives.”

As a National Strategic Partner, Rite Aid works closely throughout the year with the ADA raising funds and awareness of diabetes. Rite Aid pharmacists are trained in diabetes care and are available to work one-on-one with patients to monitor glucose levels, answer questions, give advice on medications and new products and help make successful lifestyle changes. Rite Aid also has a website available year round, www.riteaiddiabetes.com, dedicated to diabetes education and awareness.

To date, Rite Aid has contributed more than $1 million directly to the ADA for programs to build awareness and find a cure for diabetes.

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Albertson’s to terminate discount card

BY Allison Cerra

DALLAS As a way to save money on both ends, Albertsons is discontinuing its Preferred card program, the Dallas Morning News reported on Wednesday.

According to the report, the supermarket chain will offer discounted items to all its shoppers as a way to mitigate the loss of the card program.

The decision “puts every customer on a level playing field every day,” said William Emmons, president of Albertsons’ 69-store D-FW division. “For years and years, consumers resisted these cards.”

Albertson’s wishes to distinguish itself from its standard supermarket competitors, Emmons said.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Albertsons was No. 1 in local market share before Wal-Mart Stores supplanted it in 2003. In 2001, Albertson’s was the last major chain in D-FW to introduce a loyalty card, and now it’s the first to take it away.

The report also said that local customers did not mind the termination of the program as long as lower prices remain part of the shopping experience.

Over the last year, Albertsons has closed several North Texas stores and left the Oklahoma market. It recently sold five stores in Austin to San Antonio-based H.E. Butt Grocery Co.

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Wal-Mart goes eco-friendly with concentrated laundry detergent

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Wal-Mart Stores is taking the motto “waste-not, want-not” to the next level by selling only concentrated products in its liquid laundry detergent category, the company said Wednesday.

Wal-Mart expects to sell only concentrated detergent in all of its U.S. stores by early May 2008, which will be more than 800 million units over the next three years. The transition will occur in waves beginning in the Southern region in October, extending to the North and Midwest by February and finishing in East coast states in April 2008.

“People expect businesses to step up and work together to help solve the big challenges facing the world,” president and chief executive officer Lee Scott said at a conference on Wednesday. “What we have done is work with suppliers to take water—one of our most precious natural resources—out of the liquid laundry detergent on our shelves. We simply don’t want our customers to have to choose between a product they can afford and an environmentally friendly product.”

This new initiative is said to save more than 400 million gallons of water, more than 95 million pounds of plastic resin and more than 125 million pounds of cardboard. According to the company, approximately 25% of the liquid laundry detergent is sold through Wal-Mart stores in the United States. The company also hopes that the potential savings in natural resources through the entire retail industry will be four times as much.

In 2005, Wal-Mart initiated a partnership with Unilever to dramatically reduce the packaging of its “All” detergent. In February 2006, Unilever unveiled “All small-and-mighty,” which is three-times concentrated, and contains enough detergent to wash the same 32 loads as a 100-oz. bottle. Wal-Mart helped bring the product to market by promising equal or greater shelf space despite the smaller product size.

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