RETAIL NEWS

Rite Aid unveils in-store safe medication disposal program

BY Antoinette Alexander

Rite Aid will install 100 medication disposal units in select pharmacies over the next year, the latest measure being taken by the retailer as part of its multi-pronged strategy to address drug abuse and misuse in the country. Rite Aid president and COO Kermit Crawford unveiled the first in-store disposal unit at a press conference Friday at a store in Lemoyne, Pa., joined by  Pennsylvania secretary of drug and alcohol programs Jennifer Smith, Reps. Scott Perry and Sheryl Delozier and and Rite Aid senior vice president and chief communication officer Susan Henderson.

“Rite Aid is committed to doing its part to address this serious issue affecting our country and the availability of medication disposal units inside select Rite Aid pharmacies is an important next step in our comprehensive approach,” said Crawford. “Our pharmacists, as medication experts, are often asked for information on how to properly dispose of medication that’s no longer needed, so we are proud to be able to offer in-store disposal and DisposeRx packets as solutions to our patients and customers.”

“Rite Aid’s safe medication disposal program brings business sense to combatting the growing public health threat and tragedy that is the opioid crisis. This is one step in the comprehensive approach to stop opioid abuse, and I applaud Rite Aid for taking such great initiative. With the help of families, practitioners, public health experts, drug companies and community action, we can put a stop to the opioid abuse epidemic,” said Perry.

Last week, the Camp Hill, Pa.-based pharmacy retailer announced that all of its more than 2,500 pharmacies would provide free DisposeRx packets to patients with new opioid prescriptions and patients with chronic opioid prescriptions every six months. DisposeRx packets contain a biodegradable powder that, when mixed with water in the prescription vial, dissolves drugs, forming a viscous gel that may be safely discarded in the trash. Rite Aid is the first pharmacy chain to offer DisposeRx packets.

The retailer also offers naloxone, a medication that can be used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, at all of its locations without a prescription. And its pharmacy benefit manager, EnvisionRx, a division of EnvisionRxOptions, offers an opioid and pain management program called EnvisionCare Pain Management.

In addition, the Rite Aid Foundation is addressing the issue of drug abuse and misuse and is working to create safe and healthy environments for children and teens.

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Wegmans to open its new store doors, plans expansion

BY Marianne Wilson

Wegmans Food Markets will open its eleventh store in Virginia on June 3. And more are in the works.

Located at The Field at Commonwealth, in Chantilly, the new 120,000-sq.-ft. supermarket features an array of services and special features, including a number of food options, from burgers and Margaritas served up at the family-friendly on-site The Burger Bar restaurant to authentic Italian pizza cooked in a brick-hearth oven to a made-to-order Mexican station. There is indoor and outdoor seating for nearly 300.

The store also offers online deliveries by Instacart, with orders delivered to their door in as little as one hour, according to Wegmans.

The family-owned Wegmans operates 97 supermarkets throughout New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts. Additional store locations slated for Virginia are in Virginia Beach, Tysons Corner, Alexandria (Carlyle), and Arcola.

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Walmart revamps its employee dress code

BY Marianne Wilson

Walmart kicked off its 48th annual shareholder’s meeting on Wednesday with an announcement that drew cheers from the audience, which included thousands of associates from around the globe.

Under new guidelines that go into effect on June 4, the retailer’s employees across all 4,700 stores in the U.S. are now free to wear jeans — of any color — along with shirts of any color or pattern. In another change, management is now free to join hourly employees and wear sneakers at work. (The chain’s iconic vest and name badge will remain as is.) Walmart also is removing most restrictions on hairstyles, tattoos and piercings.

“We want you to wear what makes you feel good,” Todd Harbaugh, executive VP of Walmart Neighborhood Markets, said at the meeting, which was held in the Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, Ark. “ And we want you to be yourself at Walmart.”

In another initiative that is likely to go over big with associates, Walmart said it is piloting a scheduling app, called My Walmart Schedule, that is designed provide associates with more predictability and flexibility to manage family life – and work life. The app is now live in about 500 pilot stores.

Using the app, associates have new options for picking up additional hours to help create a schedule that works for them. They can also pick up unfilled shifts and have visibility to all approved time off requests. If they like, they can even swap and exchange shifts with co-workers, the retailer said.

“If an unexpected thing comes up in your life, you can make sure your shift is covered,” Mark Ibbotson, executive VP of Central Operations for Walmart U.S., said at the meeting.

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