REAL ESTATE

Retail Group appoints VP real estate

BY Staff Writer

Lenexa, Kan. — Retail Group of America, owner of Strasburg Children stores, has announced the appointment of Joanna B. Shawver as VP real estate. She will lead the company’s real estate expansion strategy in the United States.

Shawver brings more than 20 years of commercial real estate experience to her new role, with specialties in tenant representation and shopping center leasing. Most recently, she was VP leasing with RED Development, a Kansas City and Phoenix-based real estate development firm.

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Bloomberg reports gloomy consumer outlook

BY CSA STAFF

WASHINGTON — A report released Thursday by Bloomberg said that U.S. consumer confidence held last week at the second-lowest level of 2011 as the highest number of households in three years said it was a bad time to spend.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index was minus 49.3 in the period to Sept. 11, near the 2011 low of minus 49.4 reached in May. The buying climate gauge slumped to the lowest level since October 2008.

According to the report, the majority — nine out of 10 — of Americans polled had a negative view on the economy.

The consumer comfort gauge has been stuck below minus 40 — the level associated with recessions or their aftermath — since the end of February. It has averaged minus 45.4 this year, compared with minus 45.7 for 2010 and minus 47.9 in 2009, the year the last recession ended, according to the report.

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Rite Aid offers ‘virtual’ clinics

BY CSA STAFF

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid is teaming up with OptumHealth to become the first to provide "virtual clinics" in a retail pharmacy setting.

Rite Aid announced Thursday the launch of NowClinic online care services at select Rite Aid stores in the Detroit area. NowClinic allows Rite Aid customers to interact in real time with doctors and OptumHealth nurses.

Customers will be able to use the Internet to have private consultations with doctors about symptoms, as well as obtaining guidance, diagnoses and prescriptions for certain medications. They also can have conversations with nurses, who can provide basic healthcare education, information on common medical problems and identification of appropriate provider options for care. Customers can obtain a record of each interaction to share with a primary care provider.

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