REAL ESTATE

Walgreens to close 76 USA Drug-affiliated stores

BY Allison Cerra

Deerfield, Ill. — Walgreens announced plans to close more than half of the stores it is acquiring in its deal with USA Drug.

The company — which said in July it would purchase the mid-South drug store chain for approximately $438 million — confirmed it would close approximately 76 stores across the region. USA Drug operates 144 stores under the USA Drug, Super D Drug, May’s Drug, Med-X and Drug Warehouse banners.

"Although we have not completed the purchase of the USA Drug chain, we are taking steps in anticipation of the completion of the transaction, which is expected to occur in mid-September," Walgreens spokesman Jim Graham said. "After careful planning and market analysis, on Monday we began to notify employees of our intent to close [the stores]. Our decisions about store closures are based on a number of considerations, including size of the market and proximity to other Walgreens and USA Drug stores and affiliates. We expect to close the stores by November."

In its initial acquisition announcement, Walgreens said that the acquired drug stores would continue to operate under their current brand names after the transaction closes, and decisions would be made over time regarding the best, most effective way to harmonize Walgreens and the acquired brands.

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OPERATIONS

Planalytics: Cool fall temps next week will boost seasonal demand

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Retailers may soon be getting an assist from the weather, according to a Friday report from Planalytics. Businesses should be prepared for a demand spike in seasonal products as consumers react to the change in conditions, the report advises.

Next Tuesday and Wednesday (Sept. 18 and Sept. 19) is expected to bring a 25°F to 30°F decrease for both day time and overnight temperatures compared to recent weeks across the Northern Plains and Western Great Lakes. Frost is likely across these regions, including the major population areas of Minneapolis, Green Bay, Madison, and Milwaukee.

The Central Plains and Ohio Valley can also expect a daytime dip, bringing them back to seasonal temperatures, the report said. Chicago and St. Louis will experience overnight lows in the 40s, a large departure from last week’s conditions which registered nightly temperatures in the 70s. The cool trend spreads into the Northeast where temperatures will drop below normal for mid-to- late September. Retailers should see increased demand for fleece and long-sleeved shirts across major cities on the I-95 corridor, Planalytics said.

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FINANCE

Staples settles Delaware property dispute for $8.9 million

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Dover, Del. — A Friday report by the Associated Press said that Staples Inc. will pay $8.9 million to settle an abandoned property dispute with the state of Delaware.

A final payment is slated to be paid by Staples on Monday to settle the two-year-old suit that involved Delaware’s method of calculating liability for abandoned property. Staples argued that unclaimed customer rebates should not be considered abandoned property, but a judge disagreed.

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