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  • 6/26/2023

    Spirit Halloween in hiring blitz for ‘record’ number of locations

    More than 1,500 Spirit Halloween stores are scheduled to open across the U.S. and Canada.

    It’s only the end of June, but October 31 is already creeping up at the nation’s largest Halloween retailer.

    With a record number of seasonal locations expected to open this year, Spirit Halloween said it is looking to hire its largest seasonal workforce yet. Approximately 40,000 positions are available throughout the U.S. and Canada.  

    With more than 1,500 locations scheduled to open in strip centers and malls across North America, Spirit is a one-stop destination for all things Halloween. Stores offer an immersive and interactive experiences for shoppers, complete with a vast assortment of costumes and accessories along with exclusive décor and animatronics.

    "This will be Spirit's 40th season of bringing the mystique of Halloween to life and that starts each year with the hiring of our talented and enthusiastic associates and store managers," said Steven Silverstein, CEO of Spirit Halloween and Spencer’s. "We look forward to welcoming back returning team members and introducing new employees to the Spirit Halloween family as we get ready for a truly unforgettable season."

    Spirt Halloween and Spencer’s are part of Spencer Spirit Holdings Inc.. In May, the company announced an expansion of its corporate headquarters in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey. It will add 81,000 sq. ft. of office space and amenities to the retailer’s current campus. The project is expected to be completed by the spring of 2024.

  • 6/26/2023

    Walmart expands HIV-focused specialty pharmacy concept

    Walmart will have more than 80 SPOCs open by the end of 2023.

    Walmart is upping its commitment to delivering custom care for people with HIV.


    The nation’s largest retailer announced the opening of 70 new HIV-focused “specialty pharmacies of the community” (SPOC) in locations around the country. Housed “discreetly” inside existing Walmart pharmacies,  each location was chosen for the company’s ability to make an impact among those who need it most, the company said.

     In June, Walmart opened 70 SPOCs in Colorado, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and expanded its footprint in Florida, pairing the openings with free HIV testing events. By the end of the year, the company will have more than 80 SPOCs open in 10 states.

    The SPOCs are designed to help people living with HIV holistically manage every aspect of their condition, from discussing treatment options to conversations around mental health to sharing resources and helping navigate insurance options.  The pharmacists work with the patient’s prescribers to partner on a treatment plan that is best for them. (One in three people living with HIV in the Unites States is not on regular HIV treatment.)

     “These pharmacies play an important role in understanding and addressing the specialized needs of the people in our communities living with HIV,” Kevin Host, senior VP, Walmart Health & Wellness, Pharmacy, wrote in a post on the company’s website. “Our team of HIV-trained pharmacists, technicians and Community Health Workers is dedicated to making a difference and helping patients navigate their health journey, removing barriers to care in every way we can.”

  • 6/19/2023

    Live wrestling’s back at Mall of America


    If a big mall is truly “of” America, it has to fit big-time wrestling somewhere inside its galleries, don’t you think?

    Mall of America did it 27 years ago when it hosted the very first episode of World Championship Wrestling’s Monday Nitro with a bill headed by Hulk Hogan, Sting, and Ric Flair. It got back into the ring last year with Saturday Night Nitro, an event put on by Minneapolis-based F1RST Wrestling. That packed the house, and so it’s back again this year.

    Saturday Night Nitro will return to Mall of America’s Huntingdon Bank Rotunda on September 9, but the fun for wrestle-maniacs will begin on Friday the 8th with a Fan Fest giving them the opportunity to meet their favorite wrestlers in person.

    “Last year’s event was epic, truly a dream come true for fans of sports entertainment.” said Chris Grap, VP of experiential at Mall of America. “These fans are the some of the best we’ve ever had in the Rotunda. After witnessing firsthand the rapturous reception to last year’s event and how quickly it sold out, we knew we needed to do it again.”

    Tickets for the event go on sale this week, and Mall of America is expecting another sell-out.

    The headline match at WCW’s Monday Nitro debut at MOA on September 4, 1995, had Hulk Hogan clashing with Big Bubba Rogers. It also provided the stage for Lex Luger’s emergence as a WCW star after leaving the World Wrestling Federation.

  • 6/8/2023

    Ashley’s newest pop-up hits the Santa Monica Pier

    Ashley’s newest pop-up is turning California’s Santa Monica Pier into a “vacation oasis.”

    Ashley, formerly Ashley Furniture, is putting a summertime spin on its newest pop-up installation.

    The home furnishings retailer is creating a “vacation oasis” on California’s storied Santa Monica Pier, June 17-18. Called “Ashley’s Beach Retreat,” the temporary experience will highlight the Ashley’s outdoor furniture, including swivel lounge chairs, sofas and chaise lounges.  

    The event will also feature live music from DJ Bella Fox, and will offer unique experiences, including beverages from Coconuts by Coco Lily, games, a sunglass station where shoppers can create beaded sunglass chains, and more. Following the event, Ashley will donate all of the installation’s furniture to the Santa Monica Pier for use in future activations — a move that promotes offering a sustainability and ensures less waste. 

    “We’re excited to bring Ashley’s new outdoor pieces to the Pier,” said Kelly Davis, VP of marketing Strategy at Ashley. “We can’t wait for guests to experience the same quality, style and durability that Ashley is known for at one of the country’s most celebrated beaches.”

    Ashley operates more than 1,125 locations in 67 countries.

  • 6/8/2023

    Rite Aid names chief legal officer

    Rite Aid operates more than 2,300 retail pharmacy locations.

    Rite Aid has made an addition to its executive leadership team.

    The company has appointed Thomas Sabatino as executive VP and chief legal officer. He will oversee the organization’s legal affairs, including enterprise risk management, compliance, regulatory affairs and privacy.

    Sabatino brings four decades of experience in the legal field navigating complex business needs. He was most recently the executive VP and general counsel at Tenneco. His expertise in the health care industry includes previous executive roles at Aetna, Walgreen Boots Alliance, Schering Plough Corp., and Baxter International Inc., where in each instance he was instrumental in driving large-scale growth and operational effectiveness.

    “As we continue to accelerate our performance and grow our capabilities, we are pleased to welcome Tom to the Rite Aid team,” said Busy Burr, who was named interim CEO of Rite Aid in January. “We believe Tom’s proven leadership and extensive background in the healthcare industry and company transformations will help us further our mission to provide whole health for life to all of our customers.”

    Sabatino will become a member of the company's executive leadership team and report to Burr. 

    “This is an exciting time to join Rite Aid and be part of a performance-driven workforce focused on revitalizing operations and making a meaningful impact on improving health outcomes for all people,” said Sabatino. “I look forward to supporting these efforts while strengthening our internal legal, compliance, and governance-related capabilities so that Rite Aid remains uniquely positioned to realize its vision for the modern pharmacy.”

    Rite Aid employs more than 6,300 pharmacists and operates more than 2,300 retail pharmacy locations across 17 states.


  • 6/5/2023

    GNC exec joins C-suite at Rue21

    Rue 21

    Another GNC senior leader has made the move to Rue21.

    The teen apparel retailer named Karlyn Mattson executive VP, chief customer officer. Mattson joins Rue21 from GNC, where she most recently served as executive VP, chief merchandising officer. Her appointment comes several months after Rue21 named former GNC head Josh Burris as CEO. 

    Rue21 said that Mattson will leverage her extensive industry knowledge to advance the company “customer-first focus and deepen relationships with its diverse community.”

    Prior to joining GNC in 2021, Mattson served as general manager-merchandise strategy, new business development and women Zappos,  and as chief merchandising office of Famous Footwear.  

    Mattson  also spent nearly nine years in senior merchandising roles at Target Corp.  Before Target, she was with Macy

    "Karlyn's industry leadership and dedication to customer needs is perfectly aligned with our mission at Rue21," said president and CEO of Rue21. "Her unique background will be invaluable as we continue to cultivate our commitment to building the most relevant and mainstream fashion destination.”

    Mattson will play a pivotal role in the company's merchandising, planning and marketing operations. She will oversee rue21's omnichannel strategy and upcoming marketing campaigns to support the company's efforts in being the most relevant fast-fashion retailer in the country, according to the company release.

    "I am incredibly excited to join the rue21 team," said

    Headquartered  inPa., Rue 21 currently operates over 600 US stores in 45 states. 

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