SUPPLY CHAIN

Sears improves efficiency on home-services fleet

BY Staff Writer

Seattle — Sears Holdings Corp. strengthened its environmental commitment with the rollout of 27 new Roush CleanTech Ford E-250 cargo vans fueled by propane autogas, to be deployed in the Sears Home Services fleet in Seattle for in-home service and repair visits.

"Propane autogas has proven safe, reliable and environmentally friendly, and we look forward to putting this fuel to work in our fleet," said Stu Reed, senior VP of Sears Holdings and president of Sears home services. "The conversion of 27 of our product repair vans to propane autogas is one of several initiatives we have underway to improve the efficiency of our fleet of 10,000 home services vans. If we get the type of efficiencies we expect by converting these vans to Roush CleanTech propane autogas we could scale this to all 10,000 service vans.”

Other environmental steps Sears says it has taken include a ‘no idling’ policy and installing ‘economizer’ devices on 4,800 service vans.

Fueling with propane autogas leads to significant reductions in exhaust emissions with up to 25% less greenhouse gases, 20% less nitrogen oxide and up to 60% less carbon monoxide than gasoline-powered vehicles, according to a press statement by Sears.

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OPERATIONS

Nebraska Book Co. names former OfficeMax exec as senior VP

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Lincoln, Neb. — Nebraska Book Co. said Friday it has hired Bill Zeuch as senior VP merchandising and marketing for the 250-unit chain of college bookstores, effective Oct. 3.

Zeuch is the former senior VP merchandising, marketing and sales new channels at OfficeMax.

In his position with Nebraska Book Co., he will focus on merchandising, branding and selling initiatives to expand assortments and grow long-term market share.

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Walgreens adjusted results top forecasts

BY CSA STAFF

DEERFIELDBEACH, Fla. — Walgreens’ fiscal fourth quarter net income fell 55% compared with a year ago when the drugstore operator recorded a big business sale gain. However, its adjusted earnings still beat analysts’ expectations.

Walgreen earned $353 million for the quarter ended Aug. 31, compared with $792 million a year ago. On an adjusted basis, Walgreen earned $553 million versus $599 million a year earlier. Adjusted earnings excluded acquisition-related costs and costs related to inventory.

Revenue fell 5% to $17.1 billion, from $18 billion a year ago. The chain was impacted by a split with pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts Holding Co. that shifted customers away from its stores. The companies have since agreed to a new contract, but it didn’t start until Sept. 15.

“This was a challenging, but very important year for Walgreens, and we finished with a tough quarter. While we controlled costs and generated strong cash flow in the fourth quarter, our performance also reflected a strategic shift in promotional spending, a continued economically challenged consumer, and the impact from Express Scripts,” said Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson. “Entering the new fiscal year, we believe we are positioned for growth as we benefit from the launch of our Balance Rewards loyalty program, our reentry into the Express Scripts pharmacy provider network and our execution of the Alliance Boots strategic partnership.”

For the full fiscal year, Walgreen earned $2.13 billion, or $2.42 per share, on $71.63 billion in revenue.

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