FINANCE

CVS Caremark optimistic going into 2013

BY Marianne Wilson

Woonsocket, R.I. — CVS Caremark executives expressed optimism going into 2013 and outlined its strategic growth framework during its annual Analyst Day held on Thursday in New York City.

“CVS Caremark is very well-positioned for continued growth. The rapidly changing environment creates significant challenges across the healthcare universe, but this also creates significant opportunities. We are uniquely positioned to address these opportunities through pharmacy innovation,” Larry Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Caremark, told analysts.

The retailer was equally optimistic with regards to its retail operations.

“Our retail business is really firing on all cylinders,” Mark Cosby, EVP and president of CVS/Pharmacy, told analysts. “We are continuing to grow market share, and we are significantly outpacing our competition in both the front store and in the pharmacy.”

Touching upon its core growth opportunities, Cosby discussed the company’s plan to drive pharmacy growth, differentiating the front store and growing its store base.

The retailer said is working to expand its myCVS store clustering initiative, which focuses on store designs that match the needs of customers within each type of trade area.

“We have defined eight unique clusters to match our customer base, and we are organizing to capitalize on this cluster opportunity,” Cosby said. He added that the company is designing a new store prototype that will be fully oriented toward each of the eight clusters.

The effort kicked off in 2011 with its urban cluster, and now the company has set its sights on a suburban-focused pilot in 2013. This will feature an enhanced pharmacy and an elevated health and beauty assortment.

The suburban cluster will be rolled out through remodels and as part of its new store program. The company will also test new clusters that will be rolled out starting in 2014.

“The myCVS clustering effort will be a powerful growth driver for us both in the front store and in the pharmacy,” Cosby said.

The company also announced it would accelerate MinuteClinic’s growth plan and now plans to operate at least 1,500 clinics by 2017 and will continue to enter new markets, including Hawaii and Louisiana next year.

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Apr-15-2013 10:13 pm

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Feb-15-2013 07:12 am

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Bartley Ridge will be accessible via Bartley MRT station on the Circle Line. Commuting to Toa Payoh and Paya Lebar area as well as the city area is therefore very convenient. It is also near to many eateries along the Upper Serangoon area as well as NEX shopping mall. http://bartleyridge.org

B.Low says:
Feb-15-2013 07:12 am

Bartley Ridge will be accessible via Bartley MRT station on the Circle Line. Commuting to Toa Payoh and Paya Lebar area as well as the city area is therefore very convenient. It is also near to many eateries along the Upper Serangoon area as well as NEX shopping mall. http://bartleyridge.org

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OPERATIONS

ShopperTrak: Retail foot traffic for week ending Dec. 8 up 7.8%

BY Marianne Wilson

Chicago — Shoppers continued their holiday quest during the week ending Dec. 8, according to ShopperTrak. Consumer activity drove a 7.8% increase in foot traffic and 6.5% increase in sales from the previous week.

Consumers, however, were not as active as they were at this time last year, and retail foot traffic decreased 0.7% and sales decreased 1.5% when compared to the same period in 2011.

The lags were not unexpected by ShopperTrak. This holiday season holds an extra full weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas, allowing shoppers more time to postpone their holiday purchases. Additionally, last week’s unseasonably mild weather across the country hindered sales of cold-weather seasonal merchandise.

While foot traffic and sales may have decreased slightly compared to last year, the week-over-week numbers improved, thanks in part to the onset of Chanukah. Many shoppers spent the week completing their purchases before the holiday began on Saturday, Dec. 8. ShopperTrak expects this pattern to continue with gains in foot traffic and sales leading up to the week of Dec. 16. The retail technology company forecasts that the week before Christmas will generate the largest weekly sales volume of the year.

“Shoppers have twelve days, including two full weekends, to complete their Christmas purchases,” said Bill Martin, ShopperTrak founder. “After this week, stores and malls are going to see business picking up as droves of consumers tick off the final items of their shopping lists.”

The best way for retailers to translate this expected increase in retail foot traffic into more sales is to measure and manage their shopper conversion rates, according to Martin.

“This information will allow them to respond to the holiday shopper’s uneven behavior and secure their bottom lines as the year draws to a close,” he said.

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P.Rogers says:
Mar-20-2013 05:47 am

By understanding when and why
By understanding when and why customers shop is essential to any sales strategy. It can be used as an asset that will lead to the success of the business. - Michael Courouleau

P.Rogers says:
Mar-20-2013 05:47 am

By understanding when and why customers shop is essential to any sales strategy. It can be used as an asset that will lead to the success of the business. - Michael Courouleau

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FINANCE

It’Sugar to expand via strategic partnership with Star Avenue Capital

BY Staff Writer

New York — Star Avenue Capital announced that it has acquired a minority ownership position in It’Sugar, Deerfield Beach, Fla., a growing specialty candy and gift chain. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Star Avenue is partnering with It’Sugar CEO and founder Jeff Rubin and existing investor Prentice Consumer Partners to provide the resources and strategic guidance to support the brand’s rapid expansion. The company currently has over 50 retail locations across 13 states and four international markets.

“In Star Avenue I found a partner that not only shares my creative vision for It’Sugar but one that has a unique ability to help me achieve my mission of turning It’Sugar into a global brand that reminds us all that sometimes we need to indulge in the simple pleasures to enjoy life,” said Jeff Rubin. “Star Avenue’s exclusive relationships and access to resources will allow the It’Sugar brand to engage our customers in new, creative, and exciting ways as we continue to expand.”

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P.Rogers says:
Mar-20-2013 05:51 am

There might be some changes
There might be some changes that will take place because of this acquisition. But without a doubt, it will be to increase the growth for sure. - Michael Courouleau

P.Rogers says:
Mar-20-2013 05:51 am

There might be some changes that will take place because of this acquisition. But without a doubt, it will be to increase the growth for sure. - Michael Courouleau

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Consumer confidence is high. Is that reflected in your stores’ revenues?

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