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Celebrating Entrepreneurial Achievement

BY CSA STAFF

Entrepreneurs remain the most resilient resource behind the growth of the U.S. and world economies, creating new jobs and innovative products and services. Each year, Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year (EOY) awards program salutes the accomplishments of these business leaders.

The program started in 1986, in Milwaukee, as a way to honor, and bring recognition to, outstanding entrepreneurs at the helm of dynamic and growing businesses. Since then, it has expanded into a global event, with awards presented in 35 countries around the globe. Each year, thousands of individuals vie for the prestigious honor.

Chain Store Age became the exclusive sponsor of the U.S. retail awards category in 1990. All of the regional retail winners are profiled in this special section.

Methodology: The EOY award criteria include financial growth, company history, current stage of development, future prospects, business leadership, team management and community involvement.

However, a retailer does not have to be the biggest, fastest-growing or most profitable to qualify for an award. The judges also factor in an entrepreneur’s vision and motivation, along with other non-quantifiable but equally critical factors.

To qualify, a nominee must be an owner/manager of a public or private company that is at least two years old. The individual must be primarily responsible for the performance of the company.

Awards process: Nominations can be made by anyone associated with a successful entrepreneur, including employees, bankers, spouses and entrepreneurs themselves. The yearlong award process kicks off in January, when nominations are solicited nationwide. Finalists are interviewed to discuss their nomination information.

In the next step of the process, a local, independent panel of business and civic leaders selects categories and award recipients. Each of these independent regional judging panels selects categories and award recipients based on the quality and quantity of the nominations received. This year, 260 regional winners in a variety of categories, including retail and consumer products, were selected. (The retail winners are profiled in this special section).

In November, past and present EOY award winners from around the world are invited to the annual Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards event, where current-year winners are inducted into the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame. The program also includes business forums, networking activities and guest speakers.

The program culminates with the national-awards gala, where the national finalists and winners are named, as well as the overall Entrepreneur of the Year winner, who will go on to represent the United States at the World Entrepreneur of the Year awards.

To nominate yourself or someone else for the annual Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2008, call (800) 755-AWARD, or visit the Entrepreneur of the Year Web site at www.ey.com/us/eoy.

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CompUSA may get a new look

BY CSA STAFF

ADDISON, Tx. After opening a new format store last month, CompUSA may be changing the format of its other stores, depending on customer demand and product interest.

According to reports, the elements found in the prototype store, located in Texas, will be incorporated into other CompUSA locations across the United States.

The nearly 7,700 square-ft. relocation site includes an Apple shop featuring Mac computers, iPods and Apple accessories, and a full-length LCD TV wall.

Additional expansions include extended gaming, which includes an entire wall devoted to the Nintendo Wii, PlayStation3 and Xbox 360 gaming platforms, plus a PC gaming setup to test equipment and play new titles.

While businesses can get their share of support with a specialized services section, all consumers can visit the store’s redesigned IT support area.

“This new store aligns CompUSA’s vision to better serve its three core customers, the technology enthusiast, educated professional and small and medium businesses,” said Gabriela Villalobos, the retailer’s sales and operations evp.

CompUSA announced in April that it would narrow its focus to three core customer groups rather than try to serve a mass audience.

The move was part of a comprehensive restructuring, initiated last February, that included an overhaul of senior management and the closure of half its store base as the privately held chain looked to improve sales and profitability.

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Walgreens withdraws from CVS provider plans

BY CSA STAFF

DEERFIELD, Ill. After many months of talks over low and below-market payment rates by CVS Caremark for four prescription plans, Walgreens has withdrawn as a pharmacy provider from the plans.

Patients affected include members of prescription benefit plans managed by CVS Caremark for ArcelorMittal, Johnson Controls, Progressive Casualty Insurance and Wisconsin Education Association Trust.

Most of the affected members live in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Trent Taylor, president of Walgreens Health Services, the managed care division of Walgreens, released the following statement:

“This is not where we wanted negotiations to lead,” he said. “We’re sorry that our pharmacy patients and CVS Caremark’s clients are caught in the middle, and we’ll do all we can to ensure a smooth transition for our patients to another pharmacy. Meanwhile, we’ll continue to work on resolving this issue with CVS Caremark.

“Leaving a benefits plan is an extraordinary step for us, but it demonstrates how extraordinarily low our payments were from CVS Caremark. We can’t continue accepting reimbursement rates that are drastically below market, while offering patients needed special services such as 24-hour pharmacy access and drive-thru pharmacies.”

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