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Walgreens: Customer email database was breached

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens this weekend reported that its customer email database, which is hosted by a third-party vendor, was accessed without permission.

The drug store chain, which uses vendor Epsilon to deploy its email promotional messages, said that law enforcement authorities were notified and are investigating the matter. The company also emphasized that email addresses were the only information obtained in this incident.

Walgreens wasn’t the only retailer affected by the breach: Supermarket retailer Kroger also used Epsilon for its customer email communications. Other companies include JPMorgan Chase, Best Buy and TiVo.

Customers can contact Walgreens at 1-855-814-0010 with any questions regarding this matter.

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Kroger discloses customer email breach

BY Allison Cerra

CINCINNATI — A database that held the names and email addresses of Kroger customers has been breached, the retailer announced.

The supermarket conglomerate said that the incident occurred at its third-party vendor, Epsilon, which manages Kroger’s customer email database and communications.

Kroger apologized to its customers and urged them not to open any messages from senders that they do not know, noting that Kroger would never ask for personal information (i.e., credit card or social security information) via email.

Customers can call 1-800-KROGERS or visit its "email frequently asked" Web page here.

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Foulkes proves to be a worthy asset for CVS

BY Antoinette Alexander

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — The news that CVS Caremark has named Helena Foulkes EVP and chief healthcare strategy and marketing officer undoubtedly is significant, as she will be responsible for integrating all the company’s capabilities in branding, communications and healthcare-reform strategy to forge even stronger partnerships and further improve pharmacy care delivery. The responsibilities of this newly created position will be no small feat, indeed, but clearly those at 1 CVS Drive are more than confident in her abilities.

(THE NEWS: CVS Caremark names Helena Foulkes EVP, chief healthcare strategy and marketing officer. For the full story, click here.)

But what is especially important to note is that it isn’t just about what people think of Foulkes inside the walls of 1 CVS Drive; people in the industry think she’s tops. Upon hearing the news of Foulkes’ promotion, several industry members took the time to comment on her promotion on Drug Store NewsFacebook page. David Biernbaum, president and senior consultant at David Biernbaum & Associates, wrote: "Helena has always been on the leading edge. Congratulations, Helena!"

Executives from Pace Shave wrote: "Big congratulations to Helena — she definitely deserved it. Can’t wait to see what the coming months bring!"

Meanwhile, the governor of Rhode Island in early 2011 appointed her vice chair of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation Board, making her the board’s first female vice chair.

She has been one of the brightest, fastest-rising stars of the retail pharmacy industry for more than a decade, even a bit of a retail prodigy in a sense, given that she was just 35 years old when she took on the massive challenge of building what has become one of the most successful loyalty programs in all of retailing — from scratch. Today, the ExtraCare loyalty program boasts more than 65 million active members.

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