ICSC: Sales surge 5.3% in last week of December
New York City — A report released Wednesday by the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs said that post-Christmas shopping surges propelled U.S. same-store sales significantly forward during the week after Christmas.
According to the ICSC-Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index, which estimates sales for 24 major retail chains, same-store sales rose 5.3% during the week ended Dec. 31. The mall trade group cited increased gift card use, mild weather and a federal holiday on Monday as contributors to the sales increase, and has upped its December sales growth projections to a 4% to 4.5% rise from a previously expected 3.5% to 4% increase.
CVS/pharmacy launches online service for military members, vets and families
WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS/pharmacy has launched a new service on its CVS.com website to assist military service members, veterans and their families who need to transfer their prescriptions to a pharmacy that lets them continue using their Tricare prescription insurance coverage.
Tricare members will find at CVS.com/tricare all of the information they need to transfer their prescriptions to one of CVS/pharmacy’s 7,300 pharmacies across the United States. To help raise awareness of CVS/pharmacy’s new Web page for Tricare members, the company will donate $3 to the USO for every person who visits the site between Jan. 1 and Jan. 31, up to a total of $50,000.
"CVS/pharmacy is committed to helping Tricare members on their path to better health, which is why we want to make it as easy as possible for members whose insurance may no longer be accepted at their current pharmacy to transfer their prescriptions to us," stated Papatya Tankut, VP professional pharmacy services at CVS/pharmacy. "To help ensure that patients take their medications appropriately and safely, it is important that they have all their prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. CVS/pharmacy can fill all existing and new prescriptions for Tricare members."
Sears shaping up as a fitness leader
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Sears announced that it has completed a number of initiatives designed to reinforce itself as a fitness leader.
"Whether just starting a new workout routine or a longtime fitness enthusiast, customers want a complete solution," said Hugo Malan, SVP and president, fitness, sporting goods and toys at Sears Holdings. "Sears sells more fitness equipment than anyone else and we believe in continually improving our offering, so we have built an online fitness community and developed new destinations that attract customers both in-store and online."
Sears recently completed construction on its latest "Fitness Flagship" store-within-a-store. Continuing a roll out that began last year at select Sears locations and now in more than 35 sites, these 6,000 sq. ft. Fitness Flagship specialty stores feature polished hardwood floors, tall mirrors, expanded equipment layouts and resemble a modern, high-end gym, the company said. According to Sears, the stores arestaffed by expert salespeople who have been trained on fitness products and trends, and feature dozens of floor models to try from leading brands like NordicTrack, LifeFitness, Sole, Smooth, ProForm, AFG, Bladez, Schwinn and others.
Sears also touted its online fitness website, FitStudio, which was created with the help of an advisory board of fitness and nutrition professionals and features free access to a range of training resources, including: blog posts about fitness trends, a content-rich video library demonstrating individual exercises, complete workouts and multi-day exercise programs. Members can also access FitStudio’s database of more than 130,000 personal trainers and identify a local trainer and fitness events by a zip code search.