Customer Experience
 
Walgreens Introduces New Digital 'Order Ahead' Drive-Thru Shopping Experience
 
Walgreens has announced a new option for ordering, called "order ahead." This new option is a digital enhancement to the brand's already launched "on the spot" drive-thru shopping experience. More than 100 household essentials and health and wellness products have been made available as a part of this service. "During this current COVID-19 pandemic, we recognized the need for safe, alternative shopping options that helped promote social distancing," said Richard Ashworth, president of Walgreens, in a news release. "As a result, we quickly developed and launched this newest digital service – ordering online and picking up at drive-thru – in a manner of just a few short weeks. Walgreens customers and patients now can shop from the convenience of their own homes and pick-up their purchases on their terms. This is another example of our ongoing commitment to adapt to and meet changing consumer behaviors during these challenging times."
 
Grocery
 
Kroger Family of Companies to Provide Free COVID-19 Testing for Frontline Associates
 
Kroger has announced it is making free COVID-19 testing available to frontline associates, based on their symptoms and medical need. These tests will be a combination of self-administered kits and the store's public drive-thru testing sites. "At Kroger, the safety and health of our associates and customers remains our top priority during this unprecedented time," said Tim Massa, Kroger's senior vice president and chief people officer, in a Kroger press release. "Our associates have worked tirelessly to provide communities continued access to fresh, affordable food. We are dedicated to providing support and gratitude to our associates across the country."
 
Cruise Lines
 
Carnival to Resume Some Cruise Sailings in August After Monthslong Pause
 
Carnival Cruise Line has announced it plans to begin sailing again with eight ships from Florida and Texas starting August 1. The cruise line has also extended cancellations of some of its other various voyages in North America and Australia to later in the year. "There will obviously be changes once we start sailing again," Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen said in an email in the above Wall Street Journal article. "We are using this extended pause to continue to build a strong set of protocols for guest, crew and community health and safety."
 
Hotels
 
Hilton and American Express Enhance Co-Branded Credit Cards with More Flexible and Accelerated Rewards to Keep Future Travel Within Reach
 
Hilton and American Express have announced they are offering more rewards to those using the co-branded credit cards. These new additions to the rewards include:
 

  • More points at United States supermarkets-members will now earn 12 Hilton Honors Points for every dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets between May 1, 2020, and July 31, 2020.
  • Extended Free Weekend Night Rewards with more flexibility-Weekend Night Rewards given from May 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020, are now able to be used any night of the week and are valid for two years from the date of issuance.
  • Bonus Points now count as Base Points to achieve Elite Status more quickly-Bonus Points achieved through purchases that go to the member's Hilton Honors account between May 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020, will now be considered Base Points.
 
Hospitality Industry Unites for "Buy One, Give One" Campaign
 
Those in the hospitality industry have teamed up to launch the "Buy One, Give One" program. This program has been designed to make revenue immediately for hotels as well as saying "thank you" to healthcare workers on the frontlines. This program is available at BuyOneGiveOneStay.com and runs through June 30. "In these unprecedented times, it is more important than ever for all of us to join together to fuel recovery," said Bob Gilbert, CHME, CHBA, President & CEO of HSMAI in the above article. "With Buy One, Give One, we offer a collective charitable response to the pandemic across the hospitality industry, providing immediate funds to hotels in addition to a much-deserved respite in the future for those who have put their lives on the line to care for the sick."
 
 

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