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Rite Aid promotes skin cancer awareness

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid is partnering with the Skin Cancer Foundation to launch a healthy skin care campaign for the summer, the retail pharmacy chain announced Monday.

The campaign, which will last through July 26, will include free informational guides in all the chain’s stores and online, as well as promotions for skin care products and a national tour featuring free full-body skin cancer screenings by local dermatologists and advice from Rite Aid pharmacists.

As part of the campaign, the company will offer a 12-page, full-color guide about skin care at all of its stores and on its website, at Riteaid.com. The guide will cover such topics as ultraviolet rays and how to find the appropriate sunscreen to block them, daily sun safety tips, ways to guard against eyelid skin cancer and keep the skin hydrated properly, and discussing skin-care tips with pharmacists, who can offer advice on such topics as medications that may increase sun sensitivity. Members of the chain’s Wellness+ rewards program who spend $50 on certain skin care products can earn a $15 +UP reward valid for future purchases at Rite Aid stores.

In addition, Rite Aid and skin care products company Aveeno will help sponsor the Skin Care Foundation’s Road to Healthy Skin Tour for the fourth year in a row, offering free private screenings with the help of local dermatologists at more than 60 Rite Aid stores in 19 states.

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FDA issues statement on E. coli outbreak in Europe

BY Allison Cerra

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration on Friday addressed the current outbreak of E. coli O104 in Europe.

The U.S. regulatory agency said that it has been in "routine contact" with the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and the European Union to monitor the current outbreak of E. coli O104 and to track any illnesses in the United States that may be related to the outbreak.

The FDA added that it believed that the outbreak has not affected the U.S. food supply but has established certain additional import controls and currently is conducting increased surveillance of fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and raw salads from areas of concern; however, the agency noted that the EU is not a significant source of produce for the United States.

"When these products are presented for import, we will sample them, and we will analyze them," said Dara Corrigan, FDA associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. "The FDA will not allow any products found to be contaminated to enter the United States, and if contamination is found, [the FDA] will flag future shipments for appropriate action. As more information about the source of the outbreak emerges, we will adjust our public health protection efforts, especially those at the border, accordingly."

Added FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition deputy director Donald Kraemer, "Food growers, manufacturers and distributors are responsible for marketing safe food and taking any steps necessary to ensure that their products are indeed safe. The FDA has provided scientific guidance to the produce industry on ways to minimize the risk of E. coli, and these methods will reduce the risk of the strain of E. coli causing the European outbreak, as well as the more common strains."

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Blog: Facebook inexpensive yet powerful marketing tool

BY Michael Johnsen

ALBANY, N.Y. — The cost of acquiring a Facebook “liker?" Less than 13 cents per fan, according to a Media Logic blog entry posted last week. At least that’s what retailer Kirkland’s spent in its pursuit of more than 200,000 Facebook surfers who opted-in on the Kirkland’s page. And because the act of a Facebook user “liking” a page is posted on that person’s newsfeed, it fast becomes a case of “if you tell two friends and they each in turn tell two friends …”

According to the blog, penned by Media Logic’s EVP and executive creative director Ronald Ladouceur, there are a number of retail brands that recently have eclipsed the 1 million “likes” bar. “New members of this no-longer-exclusive club include Tommy Hilfiger, Foot Locker, Build-a-Bear Workshop, Walgreens and Bass Pro Shops — with Party City and Cabela’s crossing the line after this survey’s close,” Ladouceur wrote. Walmart recently added 1.6 million Facebook fans on its way to 5 million “likes.”

The fact is Facebook is heating up retail aisles. “Twelve retailers saw better than 40% growth from mid-March to mid-May, led by Kirkland’s and its ‘Cha-Ching’ sweepstakes, which drove an incredible 280% liker spike,” Ladouceur reported.

According to a recent Drug Store News report on Walmart’s annual shareholder meeting, Walmart is aggressively seeking to win over what they define as the “next-generation” consumer. "They’re connected to the world through smartphones and social media,” Walmart CEO Mike Duke told attendees. “They’re in charge of when they shop and how they shop. And believe me, they know who has the lowest prices.”

Walgreens similarly is pursuing a multichannel strategy, as outlined in a Drug Store News story in the May 30 issue.

To check out the complete Media Logic blog (and a chart on the latest Facebook “liking” trends), click here.

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