FINANCE

Longs Responds to Walgreens’ Latest Maneuver

BY CSA STAFF

Walnut Creek, Calif. Following a letter issued by Walgreens on Monday, in which Jeffrey Rein, chief executive of the Deerfield, Ill.-based drug store chain, assured Longs board members that the Walgreen cash offer of $75 per share would likely face few regulatory hurdles, Longs stood by its previous decision not to negotiate with Walgreens.

Rein reiterated his request for Longs to allow Walgreen to complete a due diligence review of the company’s financials and stated again that the Walgreen proposal would deliver “superior value to Longs stockholders relative to the CVS transaction.”

On Tuesday, Longs issued a response stating that its board of directors determined the latest letter from Walgreen contained “no changes to its unsolicited, non-binding expression of interest.”

The statement from Longs cautioned that Walgreens had given no assurances that its offer would result in a transaction and Longs’ board of directors reiterated its recommendation that stockholders accept the CVS Caremark offer.

As the impasse continues, Walgreens is expected to bypass the Longs board of directors and take its offer direct to Longs shareholders.

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Now playing in Aisle 3: ‘Register to Vote’

BY CSA STAFF

BENTONVILLE, ARK. —As Wal-Mart prepares to rollout an aggressive advertiser-driven in-store media network, it is using its current in-store TV system to promote what is arguably a more noble cause than product promotion—namely, a get-out-the-vote campaign.

As part of the retailer’s efforts to engage both customers and associates, Wal-Mart will begin a non-partisan voter registration campaign next week with public service announcements on its in-store television network. The program is designed to encourage 136 million weekly customers, as well as 1.4 million U.S. associates, to register and vote in the November elections. The campaign will include two, 15-second PSAs, which will run through Election Day.

In the same vein, the company has begun hosting a voter registration portal on its corporate Web site, www.WalmartStores.com/Vote , and will put up posters with voter registration information at nearly 600 of its domestic Sam’s Club locations.

“Pollsters have found that our core shoppers—Walmart women—are an influential demographic in the upcoming presidential election,” said Leslie Dach, Wal-Mart’s evp of corporate affairs and government relations. “Our voter registration campaign is designed to encourage millions of customers and associates to register and cast their votes.”

Click here for coverage of Wal-Mart’s Smart Network.

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Trend Tracker: Framing the environment

BY CSA STAFF

Burnes is launching a line of photo frames made from sustainable materials. A percentage of sales from the line will be donated to Save the Earth.

The line’s reclaimed, “idle wood” frames—material recovered from old bridges, warehouses, factories and shipping pallets—include marks of wear to provide an authentically distressed look. They come in natural and walnut finishes and two crackled styles, chocolate/cream and grass green (pictured). The line’s plastic frames, which come in gold and bronze metallic finishes, are made from recycled materials that would have otherwise gone to landfills, Burnes stated.

Frames range in size from 4-inch by 6-inch to 8-inch by 10-inch and in MSRP from $8 to $25.

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