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Issue 12-17-2018

Kroger, WBA pilot

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Kroger Co. and Walgreens this month announced two major initiatives, building on the exploratory pilot program the companies announced in October that is designed to take advantage of Kroger’s strength as America’s grocer and food authority combined with Walgreens global expertise in pharmacy, health and beauty. The first initiative is Kroger Express,

CVS Health completes Aetna deal

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — Last month, CVS Health completed its acquisition of Aetna, positioning the retail chain as the nation’s premier health innovation ­company. “Today marks the start of a new day in health care and a transformative moment for our company and our industry,” declared CVS Health president and chief executive officer Larry Merlo when

Exceptionally strong start for holiday sales

WASHINGTON — Between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday, retailers hosted about 165 million shoppers in their stores and on the websites, according to a survey from the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics. The survey found average spending per person over the five-day period was $313.29, with 69% of the money going

NACDS Foundation gala raises over $1.8 million

NEW YORK — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation raised more than $1.8 million at its 20th Annual Foundation Dinner here last month. The money will help support evidence-based research, pharmacy education and philanthropic initiatives to improve patient outcomes and advance population health. “Today, innovative delivery care models are emerging, which include physicians

Retail employment up in November

WASHINGTON — Retail industry employment in November increased by 18,600 jobs, seasonally adjusted from October, according to the National Retail Federation. That represents 12% of the 155,000-job increase reported by the Labor Department for the economy overall. But retail employment was down by 16,300 jobs (unadjusted) versus November 2017. The NRF said a tight labor

Benefits-based M&A

CHICAGO — Buy or build? A ­15-year high in mergers and acquisitions suggests that consumer packaged goods companies today are more likely to see financial deals as the best way to fill the innovation pipeline. Finding the just-right opportunity, though, is a daunting task — particularly in a market where speed is a key factor

Organized retail crime increases

WASHINGTON — Organized crime took a bigger bite out of retail profits this year, as criminals used increasingly brazen tactics to steal merchandise, the National Retail Federation (NRF) reported in its “2018 Organized Retail Crime Survey.” Retailers attributed the increase to factors including the ease of selling stolen goods online, gift card fraud, in-store staffing

Retailers hedge bets as trade tensions ease

NEW YORK — Just in time for the holidays, retailers received some good news about trade. First, right after retailers posted strong Thanksgiving weekend sales, came the news that President Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto had signed a new trade pact — the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement — to

Hostile customers trigger response

LOGAN, Utah — The customer might “always be right,” but that doesn’t mean employees dealing with rude customers aren’t human. It’s an almost involuntary and immediate response for employees to retaliate in some fashion toward customers who are harsh or overly aggressive, according to new research by Julena Bonner, a professor at Utah State University’s