Steven A. Burd
Nearly all retailers agree that health-care costs are way too high, but Steven A. Burd, chairman, president and CEO, Safeway, is determined to do something about it. Burd, 58, has emerged as one of the nation’s leading advocates of health-care reform, endorsing a plan that guarantees affordable, high-quality insurance to every American. On the home front, Safeway has undertaken an ambitious plan that involves getting employees to bear more individual responsibility for their health. The company pays for all preventive care, such as annual physicals; helps employees better manage chronic conditions; and offers wellness programs. The net result of the program: an approximate 11% reduction in Safeway’s health-care costs, a healthier employee population, and the ability to keep costs under control going forward.
Burd also has wielded significant change in Safeway’s retail model, rolling out a “lifestyle” format that focuses on prepared foods, organic products and perishables in an inviting, easy-to-shop environment. The format has re-energized Safeway’s business and given it a point of differentiation to help to fend off challenges from Wal-Mart and other competitors.
Borders to offer free resolution workshops
ANN ARBOR, Mich. Borders said Thursday that it is offering customers free in store events throughout the month of January to help them kick start their new year’s resolutions and learn how to keep them through the year. Programs include wellness fairs, yoga classes and diet seminars.
Borders reported that local organizations and community groups will be featured in activities and events at its stores across the country ranging from fitness centers and hospitals to singles groups and retirement centers.
Schulze sells 440K shares of company stock
MINNEAPOLIS Best Buy chairman and founder Richard Schulze sold 440,000 shares of Best Buy stock last week valued at $22.4 million. Schulze sold the stock at prices ranging from $50.71 to $51.18 per share. Earlier this month, Schulze sold 2.35 million shares valued at more than $120 million.
While Schulze’s stock sales are considerable, they represent just a fraction of his holdings at Best Buy. He’s estimated to still hold more than 68 million shares of stock amassed during 41 years with the company.