FINANCE

TrendSource: School supplies leading back-to-school purchase

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Diego – Ninety-three percent of U.S. families are doing back-to-school shopping for students age 18 and younger this year and are expected to spend a total of $72.5 billion. Results of the 2013 Back to School Intentions Study from TrendSource show that school supplies are far and away the most popular item, with 95% of back-to-school shoppers buying them.

Other popular back-to-school items include fashion/apparel (85%), accessories (76%) and technology (47%). A majority of families are buying items for one to two students with 60% purchasing goods for children in the pre-K to middle/junior high school range, 33% buying items for high schoolers, 37% making purchases for college students and 5% buying for other types of students.

The average school supply budget ranges from $51 to $150 dollars, with 87% of families buying these items at big-box stores; 56% shopping at office supply stores; 14% buying them online; 13% purchasing them at grocery stores; and 5% shopping at other types of retailers. Nine percent of back-to-school shoppers have a school supply brand preference, led by Bic and Crayola.

The average fashion budget is $151 to $200, with one-quarter of back-to-school shoppers having a brand preference, led by American Eagle, Aeropostale and Old Navy. The average technology budget is $300 to $700. Laptops are four-times more popular than desktop PCs and 68% of back-to-school shoppers have a brand preference, led by Apple and HP at 31% each.

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News

Dollar General, P&G recognize Ky. teacher

BY CSA STAFF

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. — Dollar General is teaming up with Procter & Gamble to honor the nation’s schools and teachers as part of the company’s Every Day Heroes program.

Through its “Success Starts Here” national marketing campaign, including an advertorial in Better Homes & Gardens, the program recognized Boone County High School in Florence, Ky., and one of its teachers, Kimberly Shearer.

Shearer is a wife and mother, as well as an English teacher at Boone County High School. Her recognition as the Kentucky Teacher of the Year in 2012 is due in part to her advocacy of 21st century literacy skills and strengths in teaching students how to evaluate information, collaborate, master technology and to become life-long readers.

In honor of Kimberly Shearer, Dollar General is making a $10,000 donation to Boone County High School to help meet the needs of its diverse student body.

“Kimberly exemplifies the role model teacher by working early mornings and late evenings to ensure her students receive the education she knows they deserve,” stated Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s EVP and chief merchandising officer. “She embodies the Dollar General Every Day Hero through her dedication to her students by preparing them for the future and her students will undoubtedly benefit from her passion for teaching today’s youths.”

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OPERATIONS

CVS combats drug abuse with data analysis

BY Dan Berthiaume

Woonsocket, R.I. – CVS Caremark is evaluating data on prescriptions filled at CVS/pharmacy to identify providers with extreme patterns of prescribing high-risk drugs. Providers who cannot offer a reasonable explanation for these patterns have their controlled substance dispensing operations suspended.

CVS recently launched a program that analyzed volume and share of high-risk drugs compared to other providers in the same specialty and geographic region, as well as the ages of patients and their payment methods. The program has identified 42 outlying prescribers who were then asked to provide additional information about their prescribing habits. Of these, only six identified legitimate reasons for their unusual prescribing practices. As a result of the analysis and outreach, CVS Caremark suspended controlled substance dispensing through the company’s CVS/pharmacy locations and the CVS Caremark Mail Service pharmacies for prescriptions written by the other 36 providers.

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