FINANCE

Walgreen Drops CVS Drug Plans Over Price

BY CSA STAFF

Deerfield, Ill., Walgreen Co. on Thursday said it will no longer provide prescription drugs for four prescription benefit plans managed by CVS Caremark Corp. in a conflict over payment rates.

Walgreens said that while it had received an improved rate from CVS Caremark for another plan it manages, CVS declined to provide the same solution for these four other plans.

“We can’t continue accepting reimbursement rates that are drastically below market, while offering patients needed special services such as 24-hour pharmacy access and drive-through pharmacies,” Walgreens said in a statement.

Walgreens said most of the affected members live in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. It said it hopes to continue negotiations with CVS over the plans.

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CVS/pharmacy Nov. comps up 4.4%

BY CSA STAFF

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark today announced that same-store sales in its CVS/pharmacy division for the four weeks ended Nov. 24 increased 4.4% over the prior year period. Pharmacy same-store sales increased 4.4%, and were negatively impacted by approximately 450 basis points due to recent generic introductions. Front-end same store sales increased 4.6%.

Same-store sales at CVS/pharmacy for the forty-seven week period increased 5.7% over the prior year period. Pharmacy same-store sales increased 5.6%, while front-end same-store sales increased 6%.

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Best Buy helps ease holiday shopping

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Best Buy announced today that is launching a series of programs designed to ease the pressure of holiday shopping.

Among its initiatives to improve the shopping experience, is the company’s reassignment of about 30% of its sales floor to a new cross-trained customer assistant position, who, according to the company would enable customers to get more personal interaction during peak shopping times. The customer assistants will be supported by BlueShirts who have a better understanding in specific consumer electronics categories.

Best Buy also said that it has revamped its return policy, extending the deadline on all products to Jan. 31, 2008. According to the company, the policy even include products such as computers and digital cameras which were previously limited to 14 days.

“We start holiday planning 11 months in advance so we can provide the very best experience possible,” said Brian Dunn, president and coo at Best Buy. “Our holiday approach is focused on bringing our customers complete gift solutions by offering a wide range of products, knowledgeable sales associates, and premium service to customers whether it’s in store, online or through our phone channel.”

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