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Schnucks enhances computer network security

BY Alaric DeArment

ST. LOUIS — Schnuck Markets is enhancing the security of its computer network, the Midwestern supermarket chain said Monday.

Schnucks said the upgrades would not affect the operation of its stores, but that people sending emails to the company might experience delays.

The enhancement comes about two months after a cyberattack announced at the end of March in which the company’s payment card system was compromised. The company reported finding computer codes that captured the magnetic stripe data on the backs of credit and debit cards.


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Popcorn, Indiana teams up with ‘The Biggest Loser’ for healthy eating initiative

BY Jason Owen

ENGLEWOOD, N.J. — Popcorn, Indiana and NBCUniversal’s "The Biggest Loser" are teaming up for a nationwide health initiative called "Fit Across America 2013," the companies announced last week.

“Fit Across America 2013” is traveling to select cities, the companies stated, to fuel a healthy lifestyle, providing popcorn fans with tasty, better-for-you snacks, giveaways, and tips from “The Biggest Loser” Ambassadors; a selection of fan favorite former contestants from the hit-show who will each share their personal mission of ‘getting fit.’ The agreement between Popcorn, Indiana and “The Biggest Loser” was licensed by NBCUniversal Television Consumer Products and Shine America. “The Biggest Loser” returns to NBC in the fall, airing Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET.

With the help of “The Biggest Loser” Ambassadors, the four-month consumer sampling expedition began at Popcorn, Indiana’s headquarters in Englewood, N.J. on May 31, 2013. To coincide with the summer tour, the company has embraced the get-fit initiative among employees encouraging and motivating their team to live and lead a healthy lifestyle. Popcorn, Indiana’s distinctive Fit Mobile will visit the country’s top summer events including: the AIDS Walk in Boston, “The Biggest Loser” RunWalk Race in Chicago, Venice Beach’s Summerfest in Los Angeles and Taste of Dallas in Texas. The tour will conclude in Philadelphia, Pa. on September 14, 2013.

“We’re gearing up to hit the road with “The Biggest Loser” to give consumers a Fit experience in their hometown and let them know there is no need to make compromises when snacking,” said Hitesh Hajarnavis, president and CEO of Popcorn, Indiana. “By teaming up with some of the show’s most memorable and inspiring former contestants, we are looking to highlight that living a Fit lifestyle can be fun, easy and delicious.”

Each stop on the tour will give consumers a chance to sample Popcorn, Indiana’s Fit popcorn, a ready-to-eat popcorn available in five flavors. Every one-cup serving is only 40 calories or less with just 2 g of fat. Free workout accessories and post workout snacks from Popcorn, Indiana will also be available at the Fit Mobile.

A full tour schedule is available at PopcornIndiana.com, allowing consumers to participate from cities not on the Fit Tour. Consumers can also have the chance to win a trip for two to “The Biggest Loser” Resort in Malibu, Calif., for a week on Popcorn, Indiana’s Facebook page. Twenty runner-up winners will win a free case of Popcorn, Indiana Fit popcorn. In order to be considered for this prize, fans must enter on Facebook. Tour updates, photographs and posts from “The Biggest Loser” Ambassadors will also be available on Twitter, following #FITTour2013.


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Ethnic shoppers, mobile technology to redefine retail

BY DSN STAFF

Burgeoning target demographics, such as Hispanics, Asians and baby boomers, along with an increased utility of smartphone technology as a shopping tool, will help to redefine retail altogether, suggested Thom Blischok, chief retail strategist and senior executive adviser for Booz & Co. during the keynote address and closing session for FMI’s part in the Health & Wellness @Retail 2013 conference on Saturday.

As many as 47% of U.S. shoppers will be of ethnic background, Blischok noted. Between 2010 and 2025, the Hispanic population is expected to climb by 41%, and the Asian population by 37%. And the 65-years-and-older population, who hold about $11 trillion in wealth, will become a market force even sooner — in the next five years — Blischok added. That represents an especially candied sweet spot for health-and-wellness marketers as anyone older than 55 years manages an average of 2.5 chronic conditions.

The merchandising and marketing of health-and-wellness products and services through technologically advanced retail tools will prove a significant point of entrée to serving each of those demographic needs. “This mobile technology play is beyond important as a strategic differentiator,” Blischok said.

To succeed, suppliers and retailers will need to define their health-and-wellness initiatives across four dimensions — recognizing needs, supplying relevant education, fortifying the shopping experience and delivering solutions. “Where retail is going to win is through merchandising and marketing and through technology,” he said. Products could become very much commoditized across online outlets, but the experience at retail cannot be replicated on the Web.

Retailers who have figured out how to best create a seamless experience between brick, click and any combination of the two include sports merchandiser Cabela’s and Lowe’s, Blischok observed. And it’s precisely because no matter how the shopper wants to shop them, they have an easily accessed shopping solution.

“The next generation of stores is something called ‘responsive stores,’” Blischok said. Just shy of half of all offerings at retail will be service-oriented in the near future, he suggested. “It’s no longer about the [physical] store,” he said. Stores will still be part of the shopping equation, but it’s the shopping experience that will be the driving force behind winning retailers.

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