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Walgreen Outlines Strategic Growth Initiatives

BY CSA STAFF

Chicago Walgreen Co. hopes to cut $1 billion in annual costs by 2011 and will cut its capital expenses next fiscal year, the company told analysts Thursday at its Analyst Day conference in Chicago. The drug store chain anticipates approximately $1.8 billion in capital investments for fiscal 2009, vs. $2.2 billion in fiscal 2008.

Walgreens used the meeting to announce a series of strategic initiatives to drive growth. The company said it plans to slow store expansion to free up capital to invest in its core business and to develop its management ranks. At the same time, Walgreens is expanding its Health and Wellness division, which now encompasses more than 600 in-store clinics and worksite health centers. Walgreens expects to have more than 800 of these facilities by the end of fiscal 2009.

Additionally, the chain will focus on improving the customer experience by streamlining merchandise selection and shifting promotional focus toward essential consumer needs. To provide value to customers and drive higher profit margins to stores, private-label brand products are being expanded.

The company announced an ambitious effort, called “Rewiring for Growth,” which is designed to fundamentally reduce costs and improve productivity. Walgreens said the new program will align its costs, culture and capabilities to its strategy and the realities of the current economic environment. It targets approximately $1 billion in annual cost savings by fiscal 2011 through strategic sourcing of indirect spend, plans to reduce corporate overhead and work throughout the stores, and savings from its ongoing efforts to reduce the time spent filling prescriptions and increase the time pharmacists spend with customers.

In conjunction with the overall “rewiring,” Walgreens anticipates incurring total one-time costs of approximately $300 million to $400 million over fiscal 2009 and 2010.

“Walgreens 6,500 retail drug stores remain the centerpiece of our strategy for growth and value creation,” said president and COO Greg Wasson. “Our intent is to transform Walgreens into a more efficient and customer-focused company serving the needs of shoppers for consumer goods and services and for patients and payors seeking quality pharmacy, health and wellness services that are accessible and affordable.”

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RadioShack launches electronics trade-in program

BY CSA STAFF

FORT WORTH, Texas RadioShack has launched an online electronics trade-in program that allows customers to exchange certain used portable electronics for a RadioShack Gift Card through http://www.RadioShack.com.

Customers who accept the trade-in value for their used product will be mailed a RadioShack Gift Card that can be used toward the purchase of new products in RadioShack stores nationwide or at RadioShack.com. Acceptable items for the RadioShack Online Trade-In Program include GPS devices, MP3 Players, wireless phones, digital camcorders, car audio head units, digital cameras, notebook computers, game media and game consoles.

“We are excited to offer our online customers an environmentally friendly solution by helping them trade-in their used portable electronics while at the same time helping them save on their next RadioShack purchase,” said Peter Whitsett, RadioShack’s evp of merchandising. “We know that consumers are looking for innovative ways to save money, and we think this program will help them stretch their dollars in time for the holiday shopping season at their neighborhood RadioShack.”

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Pacific Sunwear rejects Adrenalina proposal

BY CSA STAFF

ANAHEIM, Calif. Pacific Sunwear of California announced that its board of directors has decided to reject Adrenalina’s revised proposal to purchase all of the issued and outstanding shares of common stock of Pacific Sunwear.

The company’s management, with the full support of the board, is committed to executing on their strategic plan to create long-term shareholder value.

Adrenalina, a retail-entertainment company currently operates three stores in Florida.

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