June 23, 2014

There has been a lot of good news generating out of Rite Aid headquarters in Camp Hill, Pa., in the past week. Not the least of which was the 2.7% lift in first-quarter sales and the 3.1% gain in same-store sales for the period. Rite Aid delivered its seventh consecutive quarter of profitability, noted John Standley, Rite Aid chairman and CEO, during a conference call with analysts last week. And Motley Fool’s consumer goods analyst Sean O’Reilly raved about Rite Aid's Health Alliance program, what he described as the company's "ace up its sleeve." O'Reilly noted that the Health Alliance program is designed to drive traffic into Rite Aid's stores through doctor recommendations in the markets where Health Alliance is active. But there's a deeper dive here, because Rite Aid is driving the right customers into its stores — customers with poly-chronic or chronic conditions that represent more frequent trips and bigger market baskets. What's more, Rite Aid's Health Alliance program aims to make those acquired patients more sticky by coordinating a comprehensive care program that will help those patients reach their health goals.

June 5, 2014

Fred's reported on Thursday that sales for the month of May were essentially flat, totaling $151.9 million.

May 30, 2014

During Costco’s quarterly conference call this week with analysts, the company touched upon some online tests underway as the online shipping battle among retailers continues to intensify.

May 6, 2014

Pfizer's Nexium 24HR will launch May 27, Pfizer reported in a conference call Monday.

May 2, 2014

Despite severe weather-related issues during the first quarter, CVS Caremark posted on Friday “solid results” across the enterprise and executives expressed optimism in achieving 2014 goals.

April 30, 2014

While posting a “strong” first quarter, Revlon did see mixed dynamics for the consumer and professional segment, said Lorenzo Delpani, president and CEO.

April 10, 2014

Fred's Super Dollar on Wednesday reported sales of $191.2 million, up 1%, for the five-week fiscal month of March ended April 5, 2014.

March 10, 2014

Shaving trends among men — or rather the lack thereof — has shaken up the razor segment a bit as more men are opting to sport facial hair, but manufacturers remain optimistic as they churn out new innovations and see a decline of “loaded pantries” on the horizon.

March 6, 2014

Kroger danced around "the elephant in the room" in declining to discuss future merger and acquisition plans on its fourth-quarter conference call Thursday morning.

February 28, 2014

Following speculation that Safeway may be considering "strategic alternatives," Safeway executives during their latest conference call confirmed just that — the supermarket retailer placed itself on the sales block. Before that conference call, analysts were already putting two and two together and coming up with two viable suitors for the Safeway footprint — private investment firm Cerberus, also known as New Albertsons, and supermarket giant Kroger, which has just closed on Harris Teeter for $2.5 billion.

Cerberus is said to be the lead bidder, but Kroger shouldn't be ruled out. But what would Cerberus or Kroger be getting if they purchased Safeway outright for almost $10 billion? In addition to 1,335 locations and a $2.7 billion book of prescription business, there would be some intangibles in the deal as well — namely Safeway's relatively advanced Just for U loyalty program and a yet-to-be launched health-and-wellness platform that's supposed to evolve Safeway over the next decade from being a food retailer into being a health solutions center.

February 27, 2014

Ahold announced plans to significantly expand its Peapod presence in the U.S. market when announcing fourth-quarter results on Thursday.

February 11, 2014

Forging ahead on its longer-term goal of creating a national platform to support primary care, CVS Caremark plans to open up at least 150 new MinuteClinic locations this year and is now testing telehealth at more than two-dozen sites.

February 6, 2014

Canadian pharmacy retailer Shoppers Drug Mart posted an increase in fourth-quarter sales driven by gains at the front end and strength in prescription count growth.

December 26, 2013

Now, a year later, as the company completes its 50th year in business and the country awaits a period of change in health care unlike anything seen in at least that time, CVS Caremark executives are quite confident that its unique hybrid structure and its ability to leverage the three core parts of its business — either individually or together, in varying combinations to serve a multitude of needs — aligns more effectively with the long-term trends in health care and puts the company in a unique position at a singular moment in history.

December 20, 2013

Walgreens posted a first-quarter sales increase of 5.9% to a record $18.3 billion. Front-end comparable store sales for the quarter increased 2.4% in the first quarter, customer traffic in comparable stores increased 0.2% and basket size increased 2.2%, while total sales in comparable stores increased 5.4%. Prescription sales, which accounted for 64.7% of sales in the quarter ended Nov. 30, increased 7.3%, while prescription sales in comparable stores increased 7.2%.

Front-end comps are up. Prescription comps are up. Business is good. And that's not the story. Rather, that's the kind of results you can expect from the story. The story is Walgreens is priming a three-pistoned growth engine that will quite likely drive what pharmacy will look like in the future — an efficient global supply chain beast that feeds a front-end that commands traffic in its own right, and a back-end that demands healthcare payers pay attention to how Walgreens can help improve adherence and patient-care metrics. So, how can suppliers better align with Walgreens?

December 19, 2013

Rite Aid appears to be transitioning from a turnaround phase to one in which it's looking more toward future opportunities, company executives suggested in a conference call Thursday morning when announcing the chain's third quarter 2014 results.

November 13, 2013

Facing an increasingly competitive retail landscape, Canadian retailer Loblaw Cos. posted a slight lift in retail sales but, due to incremental margin investment in the back half of the year, lowered its earnings growth expectations for 2013. However, company executives are optimistic as the company remains focused on investing in what it refers to as the “customer proposition” and looks forward to its acquisition of Shoppers Drug Mart.

November 12, 2013

Canadian pharmacy retailer Shoppers Drug Mart posted a 2.4% increase in sales for the third quarter, driven by continued strength in prescription count growth and front-end sales.

November 5, 2013

CVS Caremark, which posted solid third quarter across its enterprise, is well-positioned to benefit from the rapidly changing healthcare environment. That was a key message that CVS Caremark president and CEO Larry Merlo had for analysts Tuesday morning during the company’s third-quarter conference call.

November 5, 2013

CVS Caremark posted “solid” results during its third quarter and its MinuteClinic business was no exception.

October 23, 2013

Reckitt Benckiser has realized a greater value out of its 1-year-old acquisition of Schiff, which moved the consumer product goods conglomerate into the dietary supplement arena, and expects to push that VMS business to greater heights in the coming year, Rakesh Kapoor, Reckitt Benckiser CEO and executive director told analysts during a conference call Tuesday.

October 14, 2013

One consequence of the government shutdown may be the erosion of consumer confidence among the poor, noted dollar store operator Howard Levine, executive chairman and CEO of Family Dollar, in a conference call with analysts last week.

August 26, 2013

The collaboration between Community Health Network and Walgreens' Healthcare Clinic is officially underway as of last week, the companies announced. It's just one manifestation of how retail clinics and the pharmacies that house them will contribute to making health care more cost-efficient in the years ahead through coordinated care vetted by improved outcomes.

In fact, 2014 will be the year of the retail clinic. The collaboration dovetails nicely with Walgreens' plans to significantly expand the scope of care found at Healthcare Clinic that president and CEO Greg Wasson talked about at the company's last quarterly conference call. "These new services include diagnosis, treatment and management for hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol and asthma, as well as additional preventive health services," he said.

August 8, 2013

Both Novartis Consumer Health and McNeil Consumer Healthcare will be making strong comebacks across their respective analgesic portfolios in the second half of this year, which will make a fourth-quarter battle royale across analgesics, as well as cough-cold.