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Weis Markets presents $100,000 to Wounded Warrior Project

BY Michael Johnsen

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. — Weis Markets on Monday presented $100,000 to Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that raises awareness and enlists public support for the needs of injured service members.

This donation is part of the national Believe in Heroes initiative and is the result of a joint, in-store promotion between Weis Markets and Wounded Warrior Project. In support of this program, Weis customers purchased more than 100,000 Believe in Heroes silicone bracelets in November.

Weis Markets’ Bloomsburg store associates presented the check to Jeff Combs, who is a warrior outreach coordinator for Wounded Warrior Project.

“We are enormously proud of our customers for their support of the Wounded Warrior Project through its Believe in Heroes program,” stated Kurt Schertle, Weis Markets SVP sales and merchandising. “They’re supporting a program that recognizes and assists more than 39,000 members of our nation’s armed forces who were wounded in recent military conflicts, and hundreds of thousands more who are estimated to be recovering from the invisible wounds of wars, including post traumatic syndrome, traumatic brain injury and depression.”

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Procter & Gamble, Mobeam partner on mobile couponing system

BY Antoinette Alexander

SAN FRANCISCO — Procter & Gamble is partnering with technology company Mobeam to bring the first-ever fully mobile couponing system to market.

The innovation, created by mobeam of California, makes electronic coupons presented on a phone or other mobile device scannable, so shoppers need only their phones or handhelds, not a stack of coupons, at checkout.

Couponing represents a growing $3.7 billion segment of the consumer packaged goods market in North America, with more than 300 billion coupons distributed every year and redemption on the increase as consumers strive for greater value and savings. And while smartphones are supporting users and simplifying life in a host of new ways, until now, phone couponing has not been an option because bar codes displayed on mobile phone screens are invisible to commonly used in-store laser scanners.

Mobeam technology converts — or mobeams — the bar code data into a beam of light that can be read by bar code scanners already found at store checkout counters. No additional point-of-sale equipment is needed.

P&G developed a partnership with mobeam through P&G’s open innovation Connect+Develop program. The P&G and mobeam partnership is aimed at exploring and testing a new method for consumers to redeem — and retailers to accept — coupons at the point of sale.

The next step in the partnership is to work with the mobile communications industry to add the mobeam application into handheld phones and then to test the application and process with shoppers and selected retailers.

Mobeam is working with handset manufacturers to engineer its light-based communications technology into new lines of handsets. P&G, mobeam and other partners expect to test the technology in market in 2012.

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CVS/pharmacy reaches out to last-minute holiday shoppers

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — With Christmas less than a week away, CVS Caremark is reminding shoppers that they can find gifts and deals at their local CVS/pharmacy.

With a larger-than-ever selection of gifts in more than 7,300 stores nationwide, customers will find everything from gift wrap and decorations for the home, to gifts that fit every budget and personality. This year’s options range from such classics as bath-and-body products and stocking stuffers to items like speaker towers for iPhone and iPod users, handheld video camcorders, small appliances and many of the hottest children’s toys, which many shoppers might not realize they can find easily at their local CVS/pharmacy.

"Last-minute shoppers can head to CVS/pharmacy this week to find great deals on a variety of gift options," stated Judy Sansone, SVP merchandising for CVS/pharmacy. "With extended holiday hours at nearly all of our 7,300 stores, CVS/pharmacy is the perfect place to find gifts and holiday necessities without the hassle."

Many CVS/pharmacy locations are offering extended holiday hours this week, and most 24-hour stores will remain open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

In addition, shoppers heading to CVS/pharmacy now through Christmas for gifts and other essentials also can earn up to $50 in free gift cards. Through Dec. 25, members of CVS/pharmacy’s ExtraCare Rewards program can earn free $10 gift cards to Macy’s, Gap, Applebee’s, Shell Stations, American Express, Barnes & Noble or CVS/pharmacy by spending $30 on specially marked items found in the weekly CVS/pharmacy circular.

CVS/pharmacy also is reminding customers to check out the company’s Facebook and Twitter pages for exclusive social media offers and contests. Facebook community members can take the "Holiday Shopping Quiz" to earn a 20% off shopping pass before they head to the store. Additionally, shoppers can follow CVS/pharmacy ExtraCare on Twitter to learn about deals and get last-minute gift suggestions.

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