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Walgreens net earnings soar in Q4

BY Dan Berthiaume

Deerfield, Ill. – Net earnings for Walgreen Co. soared in both the fourth quarter and full fiscal year 2013. Net earnings during the fourth quarter totaled $657 million, an 86.4% increase from $353 million in the same quarter a year ago, while net earnings for the full year rose 15.2% to $2.5 billion, from $2.1 billion.

Net sales for Walgreen Co. also rose in both the fourth quarter and full fiscal year 2013. Net sales for the quarter grew 5.1% from about $17.1 billion to $17.9 billion, while net sales for the full year grew by 0.8% to $72.2 billion, from $71.6 billion.

Walgreens beat Wall Street projections for net earnings. The company cited success in its pharmacy business and Balance loyalty rewards program, partnerships with Alliance Boots and AmerisourceBergen, as well as cost control measures, as key drivers of its strong performance.

“Our solid results, especially in the latter part of the quarter, round out a year of steady progress on our long-term growth strategies to create a well experience, transform community pharmacy and establish an efficient global platform with our strategic partner Alliance Boots and with our long-term relationship with AmerisourceBergen,” said Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson.

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Report: Young Halloween shoppers seek low prices

BY Dan Berthiaume

Los Angeles – Halloween shoppers age 18-34 are seeking online promo and coupon codes. According to the new Trend Report on the shopping behavior of young adults for the upcoming Halloween holiday from BluePromoCode.com, 49% of young adult Halloween shoppers use promo codes when purchasing costumes online and 57% stated their decision to purchase a costume was effected by the availability of a retailer’s coupon code.

In addition, 26% of young adults plan to buy a costume online this year. The most important factors when buying a costume online were overall price (85%) and free shipping offers (71%). Uniqueness of the costume was most important general factor for buying a costume (42%). Consumers are planning to spend $38 for costumes, on average, and $27 on decorations this year. The study also shows that 59% of consumers wait until the final week to purchase their costumes and most complaints were about costumes were too expensive and were of poor quality.

“This report continues to support how consumer behavior is dramatically changing,” said Michael Quoc, founder and CEO of BluePromoCode.com. “Consumers are more price-conscious even on lower-priced and more disposal items such as Halloween costumes.”

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Report: Billionaire buys Tokyo Tiffany Building

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York — Masayoshi Son, billionaire founder of tech/telecom company SoftBank Corp., has reportedly won bidding for the Tiffany Building in the Ginza shopping district of Tokyo. According to Forbes, Son paid about $36 million for the 10-story glass building.

The Tiffany Building houses the flagship Japanese store of Tiffany & Co. Son did not comment on why he bought the building.

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