FINANCE

Pharmaceutical Distributor Bids for Canadian Drug Store Chain

BY CSA STAFF

San Francisco North American pharmaceutical distributor McKesson Corp. said Monday it has offered to buy Montreal-based drug store chain operator Uniprix Inc.

The news comes six months after the McKesson’s Canadian unit bought another Quebec-based pharmacy chain and also was reported to be in advanced talks to buy Uniprix.

Uniprix, which also operates under the Unipharm and Uniclinique banners, has approximately 400 outlets in Quebec and annual sales of about $1.6 billion.

McKesson did not disclose the price it is offering, but said in a news release that the deal would involve it purchasing all Uniprix’s outstanding shares, while leaving member-pharmacists as the owners of their stores.

Last July, McKesson Canada bought Groupe PharmEssor Inc., owner of the Proxim and ProxiMeds brands, which has 250 independently owned locations in the province.

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Circuit City closes its doors

BY CSA STAFF

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. Circuit City announced that it will close all 567 of its stores across the country. The retailer began holding going-out-of business sales on Jan. 17.

Ajoint venture group consisting of Great American Group, LLC, SB Capital Group, LLC, Tiger Capital Group, LLC, and Hudson Capital Partners, LLC, will be conducting the going-out-of-business sales. The sales are expected to last 6 to 8 weeks, with some stores closing sooner.

Circuit City reported that it was unable to work out a sale of the company to avoid the store closings.

“The Circuit City liquidation is one of the largest retail liquidations to take place in the U.S. to date, and the largest yet of any major national consumer electronics firm,” noted Daniel Kane, principal of Tiger Capital Group. Scott Bernstein, principal of SB Capital Group, added, “While the demise of Circuit City is certainly unfortunate, these going-out-of-business sales will provide consumers with great values on a wide variety of electronics and other items.”

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Free shipping becomes a fixture

BY CSA STAFF

Undeterred by weak demand for home-related categories, Target continues to promote its online offering with discounted prices and free shipping deals.

The retailer’s latest incentive to persuade customers to purchase home categories online involves saving 15% on purchases of $125 or more and free shipping on select items. In fact, free shipping offers, once used predominantly to spur holiday sales, have become pervasive on Target.com, where select items in nearly every category of merchandise are eligible for free shipping outright, or if customers make a purchase of more than $50.

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