FINANCE

Walgreen August sales decline, loses key Express customer

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Deerfield, Ill. — Walgreen Co. reported Thursday that same-store sales for the month of August slid 8.2%. The report came on the heels of Wednesday’s announcement that Tricare would not reinstate the drug retailer into the pharmacies approved to fill prescriptions.

Tricare, which provides medical benefits for U.S. military members and their families, said on its website that it will continue to keep Walgreen out of its pharmacy network, despite the July resolution between Walgreen and Express Scripts Holding Co., the company that processes prescriptions for Tricare. Express Scripts and Walgreen will resume doing business on Sept. 15, but Tricare’s announcement has analysts questioning how many Express Scripts clients will allow Walgreen’s back into their networks.

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News

Toys’R’Us looks to scare up sales with new ‘boo’tiques

BY CSA STAFF

WAYNE, N.J. — Halloween has arrived at Toys"R"Us. The retailer has launched Trick“R”Treat “boo”tiques in its stores nationwide and online. The designated shops will feature the usual assortment along with an all-new, affordable line of classic Halloween fashions for infants, toddlers and big kids called Boo!, available exclusively at Toys“R”Us stores nationwide.

THe Boo! line will include bumble bee, monster, pumpkin and other popular customes ranging in price from $14.99 to $29.99.

“At Toys“R”Us, we love to celebrate Halloween and to offer a fun, frightful and fanciful selection of costumes that kids will be so happy to show off with family and friends,” said Lisa Harnisch, SVP, general merchandise manager for Toys“R”Us, U.S. “We’re excited to introduce the Boo! label, providing affordable and classic costumes, from cuddly animals for infants to cute – and spooky – looks for older kids that reflect the continued popularity of traditional Halloween styles, while helping parents stay on budget.”

Now through Oct. 31, customers who prefer to shop from the comfort of their own home can visit Toysrus.com/Halloween, an online hub showcasing an extensive assortment of costumes, accessories, decorations, themed merchandise and more. In addition to Halloween products, kids – and parents – will enjoy even more engaging content, including downloadable activity pages and wicked wallpapers, online games like Mummy’s Mashup and Shadowy Shuffle!, and two fashion show videos that shine a spotlight on this season’s hottest costumes.

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OPERATIONS

Alliance Data and Michaels of Canada to issue Air Miles reward miles

BY Staff Writer

Dallas — Loyalty solution-provider Alliance Data Systems Corp. said Thursday that its Canadian coalition loyalty business has signed a new agreement with Michaels of Canada, a subsidiary of Irving, Texas-based Michaels Stores, to issue Air Miles reward miles across multiple Canadian provinces.

Building on its pilot market initiatives issuing Air Miles reward miles in Atlantic Canada since the fall of 2010 and British Columbia since September 2011, Michaels will now roll out the Air Miles reward program within its stores in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec, during the third quarter.

In total, 97 Michaels stores across Canada will issue reward miles by year-end.

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