FINANCE

Dollar General Q4 earnings rise; 635 stores on tap for fiscal 2013

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Goodlettsville, Tenn. — Dollar General reported Monday net income of $317 million for the quarter ended Feb. 1, compared with $293 million in the year-ago period, beating Wall Street expectations. The company also forecasted 2013 sales growth of 10%-12%, slightly below analysts’ views.

Revenue edged up 0.5% to $4.21 billion in the quarter, missing Wall Street’s expected $4.26 billion. Same-store sales rose 3%.

For the full year, profit grew to $953 million from $767 million, and revenue rose 8.2% to $16.02 billion.

“We grew our market share and invested strategically to continue to win with our customers," said Dollar General CEO Rick Dreiling. “These results demonstrate the strength of our business strategy, and we believe we are very well-positioned for future growth.”

The retailer also announced Monday that it would add 635 stores this fiscal year, including 20 of its Dollar General Market stores and 40 Dollar General Plus banners. In addition, the company said it will remodel or relocate 550 stores this year.

Separately, the company announced that EVP and general counsel Susan Lanigan will retire later this year. Dollar General said it will consider both internal and external candidates for her replacement.

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Schulze back at Best Buy

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS— Best Buy founder, Richard Schulze, is returning to Best Buy as its chairman Emeritus. In addition, Schulze has nominated Brad Anderson and Al Lenzmeier to serve on the Best Buy Board of Directors, pursuant to a previously disclosed agreement between the company and Schulze.

Schulze had resigned from the company last June over the scandal involving from CEO Brian Dunn. He then made several failed attempts to take Best Buy private.

Schulze expressed support for Best Buy’s current chief, Hubert Joly.

“Over the past several months, I have come to know and respect Hubert, and have a high regard for the work he and his executive team are doing to revitalize Best Buy for the benefit of all stakeholders,” said Schulze. “My dedication to the company that I founded and love is unwavering and, together with Hubert and the Board, I determined that the best way to support Best Buy would be to return in support of the initiatives underway.”

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Walgreens opens flagship in Empire State Building

BY CSA STAFF

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens opened its latest New York flagship store in the Empire State Building on March 23.

The store includes an enhanced pharmacy designed to encourage greater interaction between pharmacists and patients, a health guide to help customers find health-and-wellness products and healthcare services ranging from immunizations to health tests. An "Ask Your Pharmacist" desk, private consultation rooms and Express Rx kiosks are included as well.

"We are extremely pleased to provide another revolutionary store that demonstrates how Walgreens is transforming daily living, pharmacy and healthcare experiences nationwide," Walgreens president of operations and community management Mark Wagner said. "Walgreens innovative products and services support our commitment to help our customers get, stay and live well."

The LOOK Boutique beauty department will feature an Eyebrow Bar with shaping and grooming services, as well as dozens of brands across cosmetics, skin care and hair care, including some not typically found in drug stores, as well as beauty advisers.

For consumables, an Upmarket Cafe will have fresh coffee, pastries, doughnuts and bagels, and the store will include self-serve frozen yogurt with a toppings bar, a Coca-Cola Freestye machine that dispenses 130 varieties of Coca-Cola fountain drinks, a variety of beers — including locally brewed brands — and fresh foods such as wraps, sandwiches and salads.

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