REAL ESTATE

Lindt opens Fifth Avenue flagship, plans for growth

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York — Chocolatier Lindt said Thursday it has opened its new flagship Lindt Chocolate boutique in the landmark Rolex building on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

The 1,245-sq.-ft. store features a comprehensive chocolate selection, as well as Lindt Chocolate Advisors to educate and guide customers through the full experience.

The new store represents Lindt’s second Fifth Avenue location and heralds a period of growth and expansion for the company’s direct to consumer business.

"The opening of our beautiful new store is the perfect way to kick-off the exciting growth planned for the coming year," said Christine Bullen, VP Direct to Consumer at Lindt USA.

Lindt currently operates nearly 50 retail locations, including Lindt Chocolate Shops, Lindt Outlets and Lindt Factory Outlets. The chain is expanding into the Midwest and west coast regions with new retail locations planned for the coming year, the company said.

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FINANCE

Family Dollar teams with NetSpend on new prepaid card agreement

BY Staff Writer

Austin, Texas — NetSpend Holdings said Thursday it has entered into a distribution agreement with Family Dollar to sell the NetSpend Visa prepaid debit card at the discounter’s store locations nationwide.

Family Dollar and NetSpend plan to make the prepaid cards available in more than 7,200 locations beginning this month, NetSpend officials said.

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OPERATIONS

CVS Caremark discusses growth at annual stockholders meeting

BY Staff Writer

Woonsocket, R.I. — CVS Caremark held its annual meeting of stockholders at its headquarters on Thursday, and the tone attendees heard was a positive one.

According to president and CEO Larry Merlo, the company is well-positioned for growth in an evolving healthcare market.

Merlo made note in the meeting of Walgreens’ battle with Express Scripts, which has created opportunity for CVS to pick up significant prescription business.

Merlo said its key to success is leveraging its integration sweets spots — those products and services that are unique to CVS Caremark because of its integrated model — and emerging growth opportunities.

He discussed the company’s MinuteClinic business, which is an important piece of CVS’s integrated strategy, along with the ExtraCare loyalty program, the digital strategy, the store clustering initiative and the move toward differentiated store brands to fuel front-end growth.

The company, Merlo said, is executing successfully on its initiatives and is “positioned for strong growth in 2012 and beyond.”

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