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Ahold USA shares health screening report card

BY Seth Mendelson

Officials at AholdUSA are quite proud of the success of their health screening program. And with good reason. In 2017 alone, the company reports that it provided nearly 36,000 health screenings and more than 20,000 immunization recommendations to roughly 14,000 patients. All of this was done at no charge to the customers, officials note.

The company also had significant, double-digit growth in both flu and non-flu immunizations for two straight years and in 2017 Ahold administered more than 200,000 flu shots. In addition to all this, Ahold also hosted roughly 150 free educational classes to its patients. These hour-long diabetes or healthy heart classes are hosted by the chain’s own pharmacists and nutritionists.

In 2016, AholdUSA pharmacies undertook a major initiative to have one specially trained (APhA accredited) diabetes care pharmacist (DCP) in every pharmacy.  The chain has have actually exceeded that goal and now have more than one DCP for every one of its nearly 560 pharmacies, according to Gary Petruzzelli, clinical programs manager for Ahold.

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Costco reports 14 consecutive months of sales growth

BY Marianne Wilson

Costco “turned in a month for the ages in the current retail environment,” Ken Perkins, analyst at Retail Metrics, told MarketWatch.

Net sales surged 13.2% to $11.26 billion in November, up from $9.95 billion in the year-ago period. Online sales rose 39%, and were up 44% in the 12-week period through Nov. 26, helped by an expanded assortment and faster delivery times.

Costco’s total same-store sales rose 10.8%, its biggest monthly gain since September 2011. Excluding the impacts from changes in gasoline prices and foreign exchange, U.S. same-store sales rose 8.4%. 6.3% in Canada and 7.2% internationally.

Customer traffic at Costco’s U.S. locations was up 5.9% in November. The retailer saw growth across hardline and soft line categories, as well as food and sundries.

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Cyber Monday surpasses Amazon’s Prime Day sale numbers

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Throughout what Amazon calls the “Turkey 5,” or the five shopping days spanning Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, Amazon customers “worldwide ordered at record levels,” according to the online giant.

Customers ordered “hundreds of millions of products” on Amazon from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday. Amazon App orders on Cyber Monday increased more than 50% worldwide year-over-year. Meanwhile, between new lower prices on turkeys and Prime members receiving an even deeper discount this year, Whole Foods Market in the U.S. broke its all-time record of turkeys sold during the Thanksgiving season, Amazon reported.

The Echo Dot emerged as Amazon’s biggest seller on Cyber Monday. This is in line with Prime Day, when the device was Amazon’s biggest seller during the online giant’s 30-hour shopping event in July.

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, “Customers purchased millions of Amazon’s Alexa-enabled devices, and Alexa devices were the top sellers across all of Amazon,” Dave Limp, senior VP of Amazon’s devices and services division, said in a CNBC report.

Other Alexa-enabled devices sold from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday included the Fire TV Stick, the new Echo, and Amazon’s Fire 7 tablet, according to the report.

“Amazon customers shopped at record levels during the Turkey 5, ordering hundreds of millions of products from toys to fashion to electronics and Amazon devices,” stated Jeff Wilke, CEO Amazon’s Worldwide Consumer division. “Customers ordered nearly 140 million items from small businesses alone, and this is just the beginning of the holiday season.”

The online giant is citing Cyber Monday 2017 as its single biggest shopping day in the company’s history, surpassing Prime Day 2017, which generated approximately $1 billion in revenue, according to initial estimates from analysts at Cowen & Co. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (Some estimates put the total even higher.)

While Amazon did not provide hard sales numbers for Prime Day, the e-retailer said that sales grew by more than 60% compared to last year’s event, with a “record number” of Prime members shopping across 13 countries.

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