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Lowe’s to buy back $5B of stock

BY Staff Writer

Mooresville, N.C. — Lowe’s Cos. on Monday said it has been authorized to buy back up to $5 billion of its common stock over the next two-to-three years.

In a statement, the company said it expects to use the full amount over the next two to three years. The new repurchase authorization from the Lowe’s board has no expiration date.

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Former Macy’s exec to head CVS/pharmacy

BY CSA STAFF

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark has appointed former Macy’s executive Mark S. Cosby as president of CVS/pharmacy, effective Oct. 1.

Cosby most recently served as Macy’s president of stores, where he was responsible for all Macy’s store operations and support functions nationwide.

Cosby succeeds Larry Merlo, who led the company’s retail business prior to taking over as CEO of CVS Caremark in March. As president, Cosby will have responsibility for all aspects of the company’s retail business, including its more than 7,200 retail stores, 19 distribution centers and e-commerce site, as well as retail merchandising, supply chain, marketing, real estate, front store and pharmacy operations.

“We’re delighted that Mark is joining our team,” Merlo stated. “His valuable experience at major retailers in operations and strategic planning makes him an excellent choice to lead our retail business going forward. I am confident that Mark will bring a strong vision, great energy and new ideas to CVS/pharmacy as we continue to refine our model and introduce innovations that position us for ongoing success and industry leadership.”

Cosby, 52, was elected president of stores of Macy’s in February 2009, with responsibility for all Macy’s store operations and support functions nationwide, as well as for overseeing stores in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. Prior to this position, Cosby served as president and COO of New York-based Macy’s East, beginning in May 2007. He joined the company’s corporate office in July 2006 as SVP for property development. Previously, Cosby served as president of full-line stores for Sears Roebuck & Co., and earlier as COO of KFC and chief development officer of Yum Brands, the branded restaurants company spun off from Pepsico. He began his career as a financial analyst for General Foods Corp.

Known as an innovator, he initiated the co-branded stores with two eateries under the same roof while he was serving as COO of KFC. That tactic is now widespread within the fast food industry. Cosby also is credited with being the brains behind KFC’s popular popcorn chicken.

“I am looking forward to this exciting new role,” Cosby stated. “My passion for the customer and broad retail experience has helped to prepare me for this, and I am honored to lead this talented team of retail executives. What makes CVS/pharmacy extraordinary is its unique ability to improve the lives of millions of Americans by providing easy, innovative solutions and personalized pharmacy health care at their neighborhood drug store. I am committed to driving profitable growth and furthering our retail leadership position.”

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Gap Inc. highlights progress in responsibility report

BY CSA STAFF

SAN FRANCISCO — Gap Inc. announced that it has released its fifth social and environmental responsibility report, a comprehensive update on its supply chain operations, environmental programs and community investment efforts from 2009 to 2010.

"Gap Inc. takes seriously the importance of being a responsible company," Gap Inc. chairman and CEO Glenn Murphy said. “For nearly 20 years, we’ve worked to address some of the major challenges facing our industry and to operate our business in line with our value to do what’s right. While we’re not perfect, we’re proud of the progress made.”

Accomplishments detailed in the 160-page, bi-annual report:

  • Introduction of a human rights policy that strengthens the company’s existing global codes of vendor and business conduct to help ensure that the more than one million workers in over 1,200 factories that manufacture the company’sbranded products are treated fairly and with respect.

  • Employees at the company’s Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy stores doubled their volunteer efforts in 2010 over the previous year, contributing to the company’s more than 428,000 hours of volunteer time, bringing total donations of time and money to more than $16 million.

  • More space efficient containers and redesigned packaging eliminated 57,000 tons of cardboard and 63 million yards of plastic bands per year from its U.S. operations, for a cost savings of approximately $20 million a year.

  • Reduced electricity consumption in its distribution centers by 40% by replacing more than 16,000 light bulbs with more energy efficient lights.

“From our factory auditing approach to environmental efforts, we hope that this online report is an informative and transparent view into our evolving work,” said Kindley Walsh Lawlor, VP social and environmental responsibility for Gap Inc. “We continually challenge ourselves to define what being a responsible company means, and to translate our definition into action.”

Visit www.gapinc.com/socialresponsibility to view the full report.

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