LEADING GROCER, HEALTH CARE PROVIDER TO OFFER WEEKLY SPECIALS, FUEL PERKS FOR BREAD, MILK AND TRANSPLANTS
PITTSBURGH - Giant Eagle President and CEO David Shapira and UPMC CEO Jeffrey Romoff held a joint news conference yesterday to announce that the region's leading health care provider and grocery chain would merge effective January 1, 2007. The new entity, to be known as UPMCGIANTEAGLE, will offer weekly specials on a variety of perishable and non-perishable items, as well as medical treatment.
The initial plan calls for incoming patients to be wheeled through the automatic doors in carts. "Now, while you're waiting in those long emergency room lines, you can get your shopping done," said Shapira. "Customers will be thrilled with the savings they'll receive on deep-discounted items like chemotherapy, radiology, and transplants when using the new UPMCGIANTEAGLE Advantage Card" said Romoff. "And when you consider that each time you visit our facility for treatment, you'll be earning up to ten cents off per gallon in fuel perks, it doesn't make sense to shop, or be sick, anywhere else."
Both Giant Eagle and UPMC have been negotiating the merger for months in response to competition from Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart,the nation's leading retailer, recently began adding maternity wards to every store, with plans to add funeral parlors and eventually cemeteries (to be called "Sam's Graveyard") in every store built after 2010.
"In order to remain competitive, we had to make this deal," said Shapira. "Research shows Americans want to be able to buy a lottery ticket, rent a movie, pick up a dozen eggs and have surgery in one convenient location," he said."We're just giving the people what they want."