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Walgreens, American Red Cross raise more than $4 million for Superstorm Sandy victims

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens and the American Red Cross on Thursday announced that more than $4 million was raised by Walgreens and Duane Reade customers nationwide for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund since Nov. 5. 

“Hurricane Sandy resulted in so many people with needs," stated Mark Wagner, Walgreens president of operations and community management. "We’re very proud of the support Walgreens and Duane Reade customers showed and how that support will help those in need work through the many hardships they face."

“This is one of the biggest Red Cross relief operations in the past five years, and we are so grateful for the generosity of Walgreens and its customers in support of our work,” commented Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the Red Cross. “Sandy has impacted millions of people and the Red Cross will continue to help for weeks to come as families get back on their feet.”

Walgreens implemented the fundraising program in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy striking the East Coast. The fundraising initiative was in addition to Walgreens’ earlier $250,000 contribution to the American Red Cross.

 

 

 

 

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Study: Retailers aim for consistent customer experience in holiday season

BY Alaric DeArment

ATLANTA — A majority of retailers say delivering a consistent customer experience is their top priority this holiday season, according to a new survey.

Supply chain and retail technology provider RedPrairie released results of its "Holiday Hiring Snapshot" survey of 250 big-box, specialty, grocery, convenience store and food service retailers based in the United States, finding that nearly 60% cited the importance of consistency, with 29% saying they would hire more seasonal workers this year than last year.

"Today’s hyper-connected consumers give retailers little margin for error when it comes to delivering a superior, consistent customer experience across all shopping channels, and this is amplified during the holidays," RedPrairie director of marketing Dave Bruno said. "To achieve this, retailers will rely on the union of people and products to make customers feel good about their shopping experiences no matter which channel is utilized for the transaction. There is a lot of pressure on retailers to get things right."

The survey also found that nearly 40% of retailers will have the greatest number of seasonal employees on the clock in December, but that big increases in staffing require training, scheduling, time and attendance, and task management to prepare staff to deal with customers.

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CVS Caremark pays tribute to disabled military veterans at Gillette Stadium

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — In recognition of Veterans Day, CVS Caremark paid homage to nearly 50 disabled military veterans from across New England on Nov. 10, treating them to a football skills camp at Gillette Stadium in partnership with the New England Patriots.

The CVS Caremark/New England Patriots Veterans Skills Camp paired Patriots Super Bowl champions with veterans from Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire for a day of fun and skills training at Gillette Stadium.

The special camp, created by CVS Caremark and the Patriots, kicked off with veterans experiencing the thrill of taking the field through an oversized Patriots helmet. It continued with veterans honing their football skills at blocking, throwing and kicking stations run by Super Bowl champions Patrick Pass, Matt Chatham, Jermaine Wiggins and Steve Nelson; a special dinner on the sidelines; and an opportunity to get autographs from and take pictures with the Patriots alumni, cheerleaders and mascot Pat Patriot. As part of the camp, the veterans received tickets for a visit to The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon.

The CVS Caremark/New England Patriots Veterans Skills Camp was an extension of CVS Caremark’s commitment to individuals with disabilities and the company’s overall commitment to supporting military and veteran-focused organizations.

“It is such an honor to do something special for these men and women who have sacrificed so much to serve and protect our country, and it seemed fitting to partner with the New England Patriots as we recognize these veterans — some of our nation’s true patriots,” stated Eileen Howard Boone, SVP of corporate communications and community relations for CVS Caremark. “What makes this skills camp especially meaningful is that we have a number of CVS Caremark colleagues here today volunteering their time.”

CVS Caremark teamed with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs New England Adaptive Sports program — a program of the VA Boston Healthcare System — to identify veterans to participate in the football skills camp at Gillette Stadium.

Over the years, CVS Caremark has provided charitable support to military and veteran-focused organizations, including the National Guard, Fisher House, Operation Military Embrace and the USO. The company has also worked with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes program to identify and hire veterans, has partnered with the Boston Red Sox for the last two years on baseball skills camps at Fenway Park for disabled veterans and has established a colleague resource group for veterans, called Valor, within CVS Caremark.

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