Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and that goes doubly so in retail. When one brand strikes it rich with a design, an ad campaign or a technology, it’s become a sound business practice to hug one’s competitors closely to try to outdo them on their own ground. While Walgreens might not be playing that high stakes of a game, it seems as if last month’s news of Rite Aid adding beacons to its nationwide network of stores may have lit a fire under executives at Walgreens. In an interview with CIO, Walgreens CIO Abhi Dhar detailed his company’s plans to leverage its established Hadoop-based infrastructure to support a beacon-based upgrade of its mobile app experience. The app, which already draws millions of views every month, is intended to serve as the focal point of a new age of Walgreens digital experiences, and Dhar is focused on improving that user-centric view continuously.