OPERATIONS

Kroger Co. to buy specialty pharmacy company

BY Marianne Wilson

Cincinnati — The Kroger Co. said Thursday it will buy specialty pharmacy company Axium Pharmacy Holdings for undisclosed terms.

Axium is one of the nation’s largest independent providers of specialty pharmacy services, offering a range of clinical services to patients with complex chronic conditions. Through its additional pharmacy locations in Puerto Rico, Tennessee and Mississippi, Axium provides comprehensive specialty pharmacy services to patients.

"Kroger and Axium are a strategic fit as we look to enter the high-growth specialty pharmacy business," said Lincoln Lutz, Kroger’s VP corporate pharmacy. "The combination of Axium’s expertise and Kroger’s 1,950 pharmacy locations, 91 Little Clinic locations, and pharmacists who provide health coaching, biometric screening and other wellness services will deliver positive health outcomes for our patients, cost savings for insurance payers, and unique services for physicians."

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FINANCE

GameStop to close 200 stores

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — GameStop plans to close 200 stores by next year, Bloomberg reported.

The closings were announced on a conference call, shortly after the chain reported better-than expected third-quarter results, excluding an impairment charge.

For the third quarter ended Oct. 27, GameStop posted a net loss of $624.3 million after impairment and goodwill costs of $678.8 million, mostly tied to international operations. That’s compared with net income of $53.9 million a year earlier.

Sales fell 8.9% to $1.77 billion.

GameStop also said it added $500 million to its stock repurchase authorization. The company has $242 million remaining on its previous stock buyback program.

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FINANCE

Bon-Ton narrows loss

BY Marianne Wilson

York, Pa. — Bon-Ton Stores narrowed its fiscal third-quarter loss narrowed partly on lower expenses.

For the period ended Oct. 27, Bon-Ton lost $10.1 million, compared with a loss of $22 million a year earlier.

Revenue rose 2% to $668.7 million from $656.1 million. Same-store sales rose 1.9%.

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