FINANCE

University Launches Mobile-Payment Program for Nearby Merchants

BY CSA STAFF

Cincinnati University of Cincinnati students can now use their cell phones to pay for items sold by merchants on the UC campus and in the surrounding Short Vine, Uptown and Ludlow Clifton business districts, thanks to a new program developed by the university in partnership with Cincinnati Bell.

The partnership between UC and Cincinnati Bell, a regional wireless network provider, launched in November 2007, is one of the first campus-wide communications programs in the nation that offers students and faculty fully networked wireless connectivity.

According to the participants, the program powered by Mocapay and Cincinnati Bell and sponsored by Kroger, allows students to pay for goods and services with their mobile phone on and around the UC campus at dozens of local retailers. In addition, the Queen City Centre and University Plaza Kroger locations will begin accepting mobile payments in early 2008.

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CVS Caremark Dec. sales hurt by weather

BY CSA STAFF

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark today announced that same-store sales in its CVS/pharmacy division for the five weeks ended Dec. 29 increased 1.8% over the prior year period. Pharmacy same-store sales increased 2.4%, and were negatively impacted by approximately 470 basis points due to recent generic introductions. Front-end same store sales increased 0.6%.

Tom Ryan, chairman, president and ceo, stated, Sales in December were lighter than anticipated due to adverse weather conditions early in the month, a slowly developing flu season, and general economic conditions. However, given favorable operating expenses and improved margins, we expect to report diluted earnings per share on a GAAP basis for the fourth quarter 2007 in the range of 54 cents to 55 cents, and for the full year 2007 in the range of $1.91 to $1.92, at the high end of our previous guidance of $1.89 to $1.92. 

 

For the fourth quarter, same-store sales at CVS/pharmacy for the thirteen weeks ended Dec. 29, increased 3.4% over the prior year period. Pharmacy same-store sales increased 3.6%, while front-end same-store sales increased 2.9%.

Same-store sales at CVS/pharmacy for the 52-week period increased 5.3% over the prior year period. Pharmacy same-store sales increased 5.2%, while front-end same-store sales increased 5.3%.

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Virgin Megastores comps up 6.6% in Dec.

BY CSA STAFF

LOS ANGELES Virgin Megastores today reported same-store comparable sales growth of 6.6% in December and 11.5% over the final quarter of the year. The company also reported that DVD sales were up 18.1%, fashion sales were up 35.1% and video game sales were up 111.9%.

Virgin Megastores said that despite the overall decline in music industry sales, its sales are up 1.2% overall for the year 2007.

“It is the second consecutive year that sales have way exceeded our expectations,” states Simon Wright, ceo of Virgin Entertainment Group, North America.  “We started seeing positive results in 2006 from our diversification strategy and the sales in those departments continued to climb throughout 2007.  Virgin Megastores are being recognized as an entertainment lifestyle destination, rather than solely a music retailer.”  

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