Through its biometric screening kiosks, its smartphone application and its website, Higi encourages users to take a more holistic approach to their health. True wellness, its creators insist, springs not just from such physical metrics as blood pressure, glucose readings and body mass index, but from lifestyle choices and connections to family, friends, neighbors and coworkers.
Fred's Inc. reported positive financial results for the first quarter on Thursday and is looking to implement initiatives to reconfigure its pharmacy department and expand its specialty drug program as key drivers in its "aggressive" 2013 plan.
Fred's on Thursday announced an increase in the company's quarterly cash dividend by 20% to 6 cents per share, and an increase in the company's stock repurchase program to an additional 3.6 million shares, or 10% of the currently outstanding shares.
The proposed acquisition of Winn-Dixie by fellow Southeast grocer Bi-Lo would create a regional pharmacy operator with almost 500 pharmacy operations and pharmacy revenue of around $780 million, according to Drug Store News projections.
Fred’s last year migrated its more than 300 pharmacies to a more convenient front-of-store position in an effort to boost pharmacy revenue — and it worked. Fred’s 2010 pharmacy sales growth of 4.8% outpaced the discounter’s overall sales growth of 3% for the year. At the time Fred’s began executing against the pharmacy makeover, the company reported that test stores featuring front-of-store pharmacies enjoyed 20% higher sales per square foot as compared with the company’s average.
Fred's on Thursday posted a 2% increase in sales totaling $153.6 million for the four weeks ended Feb. 26. Comparable-store sales for the month rose 0.9% versus an increase of 2% in the same period last year.