FINANCE

Rite Aid Reports 2Q Loss, Adds New Execs

BY CSA STAFF

Camp Hill, Pa. Rite Aid announced disappointing second-quarter results Thursday. The chain hopes to remedy the losses with new management changes.

The drugstore chain said its net loss swelled to $222 million for the quarter, which ended Aug. 30, compared to $78.2 million a year ago.

Similarly, its revenue slipped 1% to $6.5 billion from $6.57 billion in 2007.

Same-store sales for the quarter increased slightly, 0.6%, over the same period last year. Excluding the acquired Brooks Eckerd stores, same-stores sales for the 13-week second quarter increased 3.1% over last year.

At the Brooks Eckerd stores, same-store sales for the 13-week second quarter decreased 4.1% over the prior-year period. This was an improvement over the first quarter’s decrease of 7.2%.

The chain blamed the decline on slipping sales at the Brooks Eckerd stores, and the impact of closing underperforming stores, according to a company statement. The company, which closed a total of 83 stores, finished the quarter with 4,930 locations.

In other company news, Rite Aid named John T. Standley as president and COO. Standley, who replaces COO Robert J. Easley, was previously chief executive at Pathmark.

Frank Vitrano also joined the executive team as CFO and chief administrative officer. Vitrano, who replaces CFO Kevin Twomey and chief administrative officer Pierre Legault, is also a Pathmark veteran. He most recently served as the company’s president, CFO and treasurer.

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FTC investigating Walgreens bid for Longs

BY CSA STAFF

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. Longs Drug Stores has announced that the Federal Trade Commission has requested that Longs provide the FTC with documents and information in connection with Walgreens’ unsolicited, non-binding expression of interest to acquire Longs.

In the detailed 25-page request, the FTC stated that it was investigating whether Walgreens’ proposed acquisition of Longs “may substantially lessen competition among Retail Pharmacies in various portions of California, Nevada and Hawaii.” In addition, the FTC requested information regarding several markets that had not been examined in the FTC’s previous review of the proposed Longs-CVS transaction, including Longs’ operations in Hawaii and Longs’ mail order business. The FTC may add to the request as its investigation progresses. Longs intends to cooperate in the FTC’s investigation.

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Whole Foods names senior vp of purchasing

BY CSA STAFF

AUSTIN, Texas Whole Foods Market has promoted Michael Besancon to the newly created position of senior global vp of purchasing, distribution and marketing for the company.

Starting this week, Besancon will report directly to co-presidents and coos A.C. Gallo and Walter Robb, and will be responsible for leading the development and execution of strategies for procurement, distribution and marketing of products, which includes bringing the next generation of exciting offerings to Whole Foods Market shoppers.

Besancon served as president for the Southern Pacific region for more than seven years, overseeing operations, marketing and real estate development, profitability and financial growth for stores in Southern California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii.

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