Rite Aid Reports Wider 3Q Loss
Harrisburg, Pa., Rite Aid Corp. reported Thursday that its third-quarter loss widened sharply and lowered its 2008 profit outlook for the second time this year, as leery consumers held their pocketbooks closer.
Rite Aid’s chairman, president and CEO Mary Sammons said she is disappointed with the results, but that she remains pleased with progress toward integrating more than 1,850 Brooks and Eckerd stores acquired in June.
Rite Aid said its loss attributable to common shareholders was $93 million for the three months ending Dec. 1. In the same period a year ago, the company reported a loss of $6.82 million.
Sales in stores open at least a year increased 0.7%. Meanwhile, revenues for the quarter were $6.52 billion. The company said it took in $4.32 billion a year ago, which was before the acquisition.
In the quarter, the company opened 12 new stores, relocated 21 and closed or sold 64. Stores in operation at the end of the quarter totaled 5,089 in 31 states and Washington, D.C.
Mac users more likely to buy music online
PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. Apple Mac users are more likely than PC users to pay to download music, according to a new study by the NPD Group.
According to NPD’s quarterly Digital Music Monitor, in the third quarter of 2007 half of all Mac users had paid to download music tracks from sites like iTunes, but just 16% of PC owners had done so. That trend followed offline, as the study found that Mac users were also more likely to purchase CDs.
“There’s still a cultural divide between Apple consumers and the rest of the computing world, and that’s especially apparent when it comes to the way they interact with music,” according to Russ Crupnick, vp and entertainment industry analyst at The NPD Group. “Mac users are not only more active in digital music, they are also more likely to buy CDs, which helps debunk the myth that digital music consumers stop buying music in CD format.”
Overall, more than 32% of Mac users report purchasing CDs in the third quarter of 2007, compared to just 28% of PC users. In addition to purchasing CDs and downloading music, Mac users are also more likely to listen to music and watch videos on their MP3-players and computers. While 34 percent of Mac users had uploaded music to their MP3 players, just 16% of PC users had done the same. Mac users are also much more likely to listen to music files on their computers (56%) than are PC users (31%).
Austin Whole Foods bans plastic bags
AUSTIN, Texas Whole Foods Markets is testing a plastic bag ban program at its Austin, Texas store, according to reports.
At checkout, shoppers at the Austin Whole Foods will have the choice of carrying their groceries home in complimentary 100% recycled paper bags, or purchased traditional canvas bags or reusable plastic totes.
According to reports, the Austin store is a test market for the company, and Whole Foods intends to take the bag ban companywide.