OPERATIONS

Walgreens offers daily health testing at Calif. stores

BY Dan Berthiaume

Deerfield Park, Ill. — Walgreens is now offering daily testing for cholesterol, blood glucose and body composition at nearly 200 stores in California. Each test also includes a free blood pressure reading and personal consultation with a Walgreens pharmacist.

“Providing convenient, affordable access to health testing services is an important part of our commitment to disease prevention and chronic care management,” said Hayley Park, market pharmacy director, Walgreens. “As the most accessible health care providers, our pharmacists are spending more time with patients through consultations, immunizations, medication questions or concerns, health testing and other important services to help our customers get, stay and live well.”

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OPERATIONS

The Container Store launches employee fund

BY Dan Berthiaume

Dallas — The Container Store Group Inc. has launched its Employee First Fund, an employee assistance fund that will provide grants to employees experiencing unforeseen emergencies, a major medical situation, are suffering from a catastrophic event, or facing other challenges in life which they are not financially prepared to handle. The Container Store is contributing $100,000 to kick-off the fund, and after that, employees and other stakeholders have the opportunity to make donations.

“We’re so thrilled to launch our Employee First Fund, which exists to support our company’s commitment to an employee-first culture, ensuring all employees feel well taken care of, safe, secure and warm,” said Kip Tindell, chairman and CEO of The Container Store. “It’s a culture that’s driven by our seven Foundation Principles and results in an environment where the lives of everyone connected to our business are enriched and brimming with opportunity, where everyone can thrive, starting with our employees first!”

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NRF: Weather dampens Jan. retail sales

BY CSA STAFF

Washington, D.C. — Consumers leveled off post-holiday shopping and spending in the beginning of the year due in part to severe winter weather in much of the country. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), January 2014 retail sales, excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants, were flat seasonally adjusted month-to-month, yet increased 3% unadjusted year-over-year.

January retail sales released by the U.S. Census Bureau, which include categories such as automobiles, gasoline stations, and restaurants, decreased 0.4% seasonally adjusted month-to-month, yet increased 2.6% adjusted year-over-year.

Other findings from the January retail sales report include:

  • Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers stores’ sales increased 1.4% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 3.3% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Clothing and clothing accessories stores’ sales decreased 0.9% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month, yet increased 1.4% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Electronics and appliance stores’ sales increased 0.4% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month, yet decreased 4.9% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Furniture and home furnishing stores’ sales decreased 0.6% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month, and 2.1% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • General merchandise stores’ sales decreased 0.1% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month, yet increased 1.4% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Health and personal care stores’ sales decreased 0.6% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month, yet increased 3.1% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Non-store retailers’ sales decreased 0.6% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month, yet increased 6.5% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores’ sales decreased 1.4% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 1.5% unadjusted year-over-year.

“Following a solid holiday sales season, it seems that many consumers decided to take a break from the stores and shopping malls this January in an attempt to avoid winter weather,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. “While the dip in retail sales was somewhat anticipated, it is concerning that both jobless claims came in above projections and that consumer spending were flat in January; it’s not the way to kick off a new year.

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