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Report: IT spend migrates beyond CIO

BY Dan Berthiaume

Franklin, Tenn. – More than $11.6 billion of retail IT spending, or 35% of the total, will come from budgets other than that of the CIO. Of that total “black ops” IT spend, $6.6 billion will come from the activities of the CMO and their purchases of hardware, software, SaaS, and services outside of the CIO budget.

As indicated in the new IHL Group study “Black Ops IT,” the CMO represents an increase in IT spending of 15% in the last two years and is driving a huge part of the overall IT spending Increase. IHL analysis shows that a $1 billion specialty soft goods retailer will have an average black ops IT spend totaling $17.6 million that comes from budgets outside of the CIO’s, including CMO, store ops, HR, and purchasing.

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Walgreens increase July same-store sales 8%

BY Dan Berthiaume

Deerfield, Ill. – Walgreens same-store sales increased by 6.3% in July, the retailer reported this morning. Calendar day shifts positively impacted total same-store sales by 1.4 percentage points, while generic drug introductions in the last 12 months negatively impacted total same-store sales by 1.8 percentage points.

Total front-end sales increased 3.6% compared with the same month in fiscal 2012, while same-store front-end sales increased 2.3%. Customer traffic in stores open at least one year decreased 1.2% while basket size increased 3.5%.

Meanwhile, prescriptions filled at stores open a year or more increased by 9.5% in July and increased 7.3% on a calendar day-shift adjusted basis. This year’s July had one additional Wednesday and one fewer Sunday compared with July 2012, positively impacting same-store prescriptions filled by 2.2 percentage points.

Total July sales for Walgreens were $6.03 billion, an increase of 8% from $5.59 billion for the same month in fiscal 2012.

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Massachusetts Oks sales tax holiday Aug. 10-11

BY Dan Berthiaume

Boston – Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has signed a bill authorizing a sales tax holiday in Massachusetts for the upcoming weekend of Aug. 10. The bill gives consumers a one-time break on the state’s 6.25% sales tax on any ordinarily taxed retail items individually worth up to $2,500. The break does not extend to vehicles, motor boats, tobacco, meals and utilities.

Massachusetts did not offer a sales tax holiday in 2009 but otherwise has designated one weekend in August as a sales tax holiday every year since 2004.

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