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Walgreens reopens tornado-devastated Joplin, Mo., stores in record time

BY Michael Johnsen

JOPLIN, Mo. — Walgreens on Monday celebrated the reopening of two Joplin, Mo., stores within three months after one was severely damaged and the other completely demolished by a tornado that swept through the city May 22. The drug stores are the first among major retailers in the area to reopen since the storm, Walgreens reported.

“As the city’s largest provider of pharmacy, health and wellness services and daily living needs, we were driven to restore full service to these communities as quickly as possible,” Walgreens district manager Ryan Kruger said. “This was truly a Herculean effort by everyone involved. We are especially appreciative to city officials for streamlining the permitting process, to our materials suppliers for the breakneck speed in which materials arrived at the site and to countless others for offering their support and resources in completing this coordinated rebuilding project in record time.”

Walgreens will mark the reopenings with ceremonial ribbon-cuttings at both locations at 4 p.m., kicking off a host of community activities through 8 p.m. The events will include music, free food and giveaways, kids’ crafts and face painting, free blood pressure, blood-glucose and bone density checks and free diabetes consultations from local physicians.

“We couldn’t be prouder to be at the forefront of the rebuilding efforts in Joplin,” Kruger said. “The tremendous progress of the recovery is a testament to the spirit and resolve of the people here. The community has come together in an incredible way, and the benefits will be felt long after the area is back on its feet.”

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NACDS aims to enhance Pharmacy & Technology Conference experience with mobile app

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has announced the launch of its 2011 Pharmacy & Technology Conference mobile Web-based application.

The app is designed to enhance attendees’ efficiency and experience at the NACDS Pharmacy & Technology Conference, which runs from Aug. 27 to 30 in Boston. In addition, the NACDS mobile website —  m.NACDS.org — features information about the upcoming conference and all 2011 NACDS events.

The first NACDS mobile app was introduced for the NACDS 2010 Annual Meeting and, according to the association, has become an important resource for applying today’s technology to NACDS’ meeting format. The app is compatible with most smartphone platforms, including the iPhone, Droid and Blackberry devices, and can be downloaded for free on the NACDS mobile website or from NACDS’ main website at NACDS.org.

M.NACDS.org serves as a “guide on the go” to NACDS meetings, advocacy and communications. The site is specifically designed for ease of use on any smartphone with a Web browser. Pharmacy & Technology Conference attendees will find planning tools for the event, including an updated schedule, floor plan, list of participants and sponsors, and other important information on the mobile website.

“Technology is ever-evolving, and NACDS continues to explore innovative ways to enhance its member programs and services,” stated NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. “Utilizing technology is an important way to maximize the continued value and experience that NACDS members expect from NACDS meetings and conferences.”

The Pharmacy & Technology Conference will bring together more than 130 retail companies comprised of chain drug stores, supermarkets and mass merchants representing more than 80,000 retail outlets and more than $200 billion in annual sales for prescription drugs, over-the-counter products and home health care.

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H-E-B buys three Albertsons LLC stores

BY Allison Cerra

SAN ANTONIO — H-E-B has acquired three Texas-based Albertsons LLC stores.

The Albertsons locations in College Station, Kerrville and New Braunfels will close in October. The Kerrville location, a 49,000-sq.-ft. store, will be remodeled and converted into an H-E-B, while the other two properties will be made available for lease, as the company opened new stores in the College Station and New Braunfels last year. As part of the transition, Albertsons pharmacy customers will be transferred to H-E-B, while current employees are being offered the opportunity to interview for positions at H-E-B.

"We view these acquisitions as an opportunity to expand the retail experience in these communities and offer new jobs," H-E-B group VP of public affairs and diversity Winell Herron said.

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