Under Armour, amanufacturer and marketer of high-performance athletic apparel and footwear, opened its first full-line retail store, in Westfield Mall, Annapolis, Md. Customers enter the 4,500-sq.-ft. store from the mall through a stadium-styled tunnel. The interior combines state-of-the-art video and audio systems, and features an immense bronze statue of Under Armour’s signature brand ambassador Big E. Fitch designed the store in cooperation with Under Armour.… Uniqlo has opened a flagship on London’s Oxford Street. Coldwater Creek opened its first Manhattan store, a 15,000-sq.-ft. flagship on the city’s wealthy Upper East Side. The store, designed by Cowan & Associates ,has a comfy Pacific Northwest feel, enhanced by a water wall and wrought-iron lighting fixtures and scented lemongrass candles.… Tiffany & Co. opened an 11,000-sq.-ft. store on Wall Street in Manhattan. The interior, designed by Yabu Pushelberg ,Toronto, sparkles with a main floor divided by several 12-ft. glass screens lit from beneath with LED lights. The back wall, which features panels that are faceted like diamonds, is inlaid with display cases.… The new American Girl Boutique and Bistro at North Point Mall, Atlanta, features private-party rooms that host four different American Girl-themed celebrations. The 12,000-sq.-ft. space also has a 77-seat casual bistro.… Kohl’s Corp.’s new prototype includes fitting rooms with lounge areas, upgraded restrooms, expanded juniors and customer-seating areas and a redesigned checkout. The format is being rolled out in some 95 new locations.
CompUSA may get a new look
ADDISON, Tx. After opening a new format store last month, CompUSA may be changing the format of its other stores, depending on customer demand and product interest.
According to reports, the elements found in the prototype store, located in Texas, will be incorporated into other CompUSA locations across the United States.
The nearly 7,700 square-ft. relocation site includes an Apple shop featuring Mac computers, iPods and Apple accessories, and a full-length LCD TV wall.
Additional expansions include extended gaming, which includes an entire wall devoted to the Nintendo Wii, PlayStation3 and Xbox 360 gaming platforms, plus a PC gaming setup to test equipment and play new titles.
While businesses can get their share of support with a specialized services section, all consumers can visit the store’s redesigned IT support area.
“This new store aligns CompUSA’s vision to better serve its three core customers, the technology enthusiast, educated professional and small and medium businesses,” said Gabriela Villalobos, the retailer’s sales and operations evp.
CompUSA announced in April that it would narrow its focus to three core customer groups rather than try to serve a mass audience.
The move was part of a comprehensive restructuring, initiated last February, that included an overhaul of senior management and the closure of half its store base as the privately held chain looked to improve sales and profitability.
Walgreens withdraws from CVS provider plans
DEERFIELD, Ill. After many months of talks over low and below-market payment rates by CVS Caremark for four prescription plans, Walgreens has withdrawn as a pharmacy provider from the plans.
Patients affected include members of prescription benefit plans managed by CVS Caremark for ArcelorMittal, Johnson Controls, Progressive Casualty Insurance and Wisconsin Education Association Trust.
Most of the affected members live in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Trent Taylor, president of Walgreens Health Services, the managed care division of Walgreens, released the following statement:
“This is not where we wanted negotiations to lead,” he said. “We’re sorry that our pharmacy patients and CVS Caremark’s clients are caught in the middle, and we’ll do all we can to ensure a smooth transition for our patients to another pharmacy. Meanwhile, we’ll continue to work on resolving this issue with CVS Caremark.
“Leaving a benefits plan is an extraordinary step for us, but it demonstrates how extraordinarily low our payments were from CVS Caremark. We can’t continue accepting reimbursement rates that are drastically below market, while offering patients needed special services such as 24-hour pharmacy access and drive-thru pharmacies.”