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Walgreens’ Moore, Okla., store closed; mobilizes aid for tornado victims

BY Jason Owen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Responding to Monday’s devastating tornado in the Oklahoma City area, Walgreens this week mobilized increased shipments of essential supplies to its area stores; made an initial donation of three semi-trailers of food, water and first aid supplies to the Oklahoma chapter of the American Red Cross; and offered customers an opportunity to make donations at its Oklahoma drug stores.

The Walgreens store at 1041 S.W. 19th St. in Moore, Okla., suffered severe damage and is temporarily closed. To serve that area’s pharmacy patients, the company plans to locate a temporary pharmacy trailer at the site as soon as possible, and construction workers will begin rebuilding the store this week so it can be reopened for business.

Walgreens increased shipments of items such as food, water, first aid supplies and tetanus shots to keep store shelves and pharmacies stocked with essentials. The company also worked with the Oklahoma Board of Pharmacy to enact emergency procedures that allow pharmacists to help displaced patients refill prescriptions if they lack documentation or an empty prescription bottle.

“Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Moore and the entire Oklahoma City area who suffered such devastating losses,” said Bill Miller, Walgreens market vice president for Oklahoma. “They include our neighbors, our customers and our employees, and we want to support them in any way we can.”

At Walgreens drug stores throughout the state of Oklahoma, store employees began inviting customers to make point-of-purchase cash donations to the American Red Cross in amounts of $1, $5 and $10.

At least 18 Walgreens employees suffered property losses, ranging from moderate damage to property and automobiles to homes completely lost. Employees who suffered losses can apply for financial assistance to the Walgreens Benefit Fund, which was established by company founder Charles R. Walgreen Sr. after his death in 1939. The Walgreens Benefit Fund is a nonprofit organization devoted to distributing financial assistance to company employees who experience financial difficulties due to circumstances beyond their control, including natural disasters.


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Touro College of Pharmacy graduates present capstone projects

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — The Touro College of Pharmacy awarded three graduating students for their research into drug interactions, pneumonia treatment and access to birth control pills.

The New York-based college requires its fourth-year students to do year-long capstone research projects that culminate in poster presentations. The school awarded certificates of excellence to three of the students: Hanh Thai, who studied the protein binding of the herbal product rhodiola rosea to determine its safety profile and possible drug interactions; Michelle Friedman, who examined patients in the Brooklyn Hospital Center who developed pneumonia that is resistant to a particular type of antibiotic; and Christina Choi, who researched divergent access to birth control pills among the populations of South Korea and the United States.

"The capstone project enables our students to demonstrate their abilities in ways that are significant and meaningful," founding dean of the college Stuart Feldman said. "They learn to develop research plans, design questions and create experiments to find answers to those questions. They learn how to think about ways their research can make a difference."


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Study: Hispanic shoppers utilize mobile as shopping tool more than general market shopper

BY Jason Owen

DENVER — A recent study conducted by The Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research, and unvelied in the latest issue of The Checkout, found 16% of Hispanic shoppers use their mobile device to make purchases, compared with just 12% of general market shoppers.

"Since mobile and online tools are important to Hispanics, there is opportunity to leverage technology to better engage this audience. It’s not just about replicating general market strategies and making them bilingual, it’s taking those key elements that Hispanic shoppers seek and incorporating them into the shopper experience," said Martin Ferro, senior account planner for Velocidad, a Hispanic promotional, retail and shopper marketing capability of The Integer Group.

Use of private label has grown significantly in recent years as shoppers start to perceive them as quality alternatives to name-brand products. Only 28% of Hispanic shoppers (compared to 22% of general market shoppers) say they immediately go for name-brand items while 68% (compared to 60% of general market shoppers) find their usual brand, but then consider a store brand as an alternative. The study also shows that private label is making it into Hispanics’ consideration sets, with 78% of all Hispanic shoppers regularly comparing prices between name brands and store brands. Although this is the case, there are some product categories where Hispanics remain very brand loyal, this includes laundry detergent, health and beauty products, and breakfast cereals.

Additional findings on Hispanic shoppers from The Checkout:

  • Hispanics place greater emphasis on their personal networks, with 40% saying recommendations from their friends and family influence their shopping list compared to 29% of the general market;
  • Hispanic shoppers are more experiential, with 25% of Hispanics saying that having an enjoyable shopping experience was most important to them compared to 18% of general market shoppers;
  • When considering value, 53% of Hispanic shoppers say finding the highest quality items is the most important factor compared to 40% of the general market. Price is also an important factor, with 45% of Hispanics saying this is most important to them, compared to 43% of general market shoppers.

Data for The Checkout comes from a national survey conducted by Integer and M/A/R/C where consumers are asked about their shopping attitudes, shopping behaviors, and economic outlook. Topics range from criteria shoppers use to select retailers, to which in-store stimulus is most likely to drive purchase, to factors that might lead shoppers to leave an aisle empty-handed. The Checkout is available for download at Integer’s blog Shopperculture.com.


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