FINANCE

Report: May Sales Encouraging

BY CSA STAFF

Chicago According to a report released Wednesday by ShopperTrak RCT Corp., retail sales rose 1.7% in May, and total U.S. foot traffic was up 3.7%.

Although oil prices reached record high levels during the month, consumers continued to visit various retail locations and spend—especially early in the month for Mother’s Day gifts, according to ShopperTrak’ National Retail Sales Estimate.

While retail sales returned to slower, more seasonal levels later in the month, traffic remained steady as bargain shoppers continued making visits to take advantage of post-holiday sales to spend at a discounted rate.

“The May traffic performance is encouraging as it marks the second consecutive monthly increase following a period of 16 months where retailers experienced a downward traffic trend,” said Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak.

“If, as anticipated, fuel prices continue to reach record highs throughout the summer, we might see retail traffic slow a bit, but consumers have adjusted to this in the recent past and we expect them to remain resilient and continue to spend.”

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Walgreens to acquire Express Scripts

BY CSA STAFF

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens announced that through its subsidiary OptionCare Enterprises it will acquire Express Scripts, a Louisville, Ky.-based home infusion pharmacy division. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The parties expect the transaction to close within 30 days.

This acquisition further expands our national coverage in home infusion services, said Paul Mastrapa, president of Walgreens-OptionCare. CuraScript IP is highly regarded in the industry for its clinical expertise and commitment to exceptional patient care. We welcome this addition to our infusion pharmacy network and look forward to reaching even more patients with this combined high level of personalized therapy and support.

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RadioShack hold DTV info sessions

BY CSA STAFF

FORT WORTH, Texas RadioShack is partnering with the American Library Association to help educate the consumers nationwide about the Digital Television (DTV) Transition set to begin in all 50 states and Puerto Rico on Feb. 17, 2009, and at noon, Sept. 8, in the test market of Wilmington, N.C.

Through this partnership, RadioShack’s 4,500 company stores and many of the 1,000-plus participating franchise stores will offer knowledgeable team members to 16,000 ALA public libraries to host educational sessions for library patrons. Included in these sessions will be information about why the digital television transition is occurring, the benefits digital television offers television viewers, what people need to do in order to continue receiving over-the-air television broadcasts after the conversion occurs, and how to apply for up to two $40 government coupons per household to help reduce the costs of obtaining a digital converter box. RadioShack’s education outreach will also include demonstrations on how to successfully set up a digital converter box to an analog television set.

“We’re excited to be partnering with the American Library Association in the ongoing effort to help educate everyone about this milestone event in television broadcasting history,” said Peter Whitsett, RadioShack’s evp, general merchandising manager. “Consumer education is the number-one key to ensuring a smooth digital transition. While we have focused on store training and advertising to communicate the digital transition to our customers, we want to take advantage of every opportunity to extend our reputation as the trusted neighborhood electronics advisor into the community as a whole. I can think of no better way to do this than by having our knowledgeable team members meet fact-to-face with library patrons to explain the transition and answer questions.”

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