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Alliance Boots acquires stake in Chinese wholesale market

BY Michael Johnsen

LONDON — Alliance Boots, under the terms of a strategic alliance agreement signed earlier this week, announced that it will acquire a 12% stake in Nanjing Pharmaceutical for a total consideration of approximately $90.7 million. On completion of the transaction, which is subject to various regulatory approvals, Alliance Boots will be the second largest shareholder in Nanjing Pharmaceutical with board and operational management representation.

"This agreement builds on the success we have already had in China and further strengthens our commitment to the country as well as our willingness to play an active role in the evolution of the market in partnership with the authorities and key players," Alliance Boots executive chairman Stefano Pessina said. "We believe that this strategic investment marks an important step in our long-term development in Asia.”

"By introducing Alliance Boots advanced supply chain management technology and experience, Nanjing Pharmaceutical will be able to improve its management practices, achieve greater performance and help China’s medical industry reach global standards, as well as support the pharmaceutical sector in establishing a vibrant social responsibility," Nanjing chairman Zhou Yaoping said. 

Nanjing Pharmaceutical, which is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, is the fifth-largest pharmaceutical wholesaler in China with sales of around $3.2 billion in 2011.

Alliance Boots first entered the Chinese pharmaceutical distribution market in 2008 through its Guangzhou Pharmaceuticals Corporation joint venture, which operates in complementary geographies.

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Supervalu names new chief information officer

BY Michael Johnsen

MINNEAPOLIS — Supervalu on Thursday announced the appointment of Kathy Persian as SVP and chief information officer. Persian, 45, joined the company in February 2010 in the role of group VP retail and merchandising systems, and later moved to group VP corporate planning, analysis and business process. 

Persian was named to the CIO post following the decision by Wayne Shurts to accept a position with another company, Supervalu reported. In her new role as chief information officer, Persian will lead all of the company’s information technology activities.

“Kathy has held roles within Supervalu that have allowed her to become familiar with both the business and information technology sides of the company,” stated Wayne Sales, Supervalu president, CEO and chairman. “This experience will serve her well in providing the technological and business support the company needs as we continue to focus on profitable growth while reducing expenses.”

Prior to Supervalu, Persian spent more than 20 years at Accenture and Best Buy working in business areas of IT, general retail, retail operations, merchandising, supply chain and finance. At Accenture, Persian began as a staff consultant and worked her way up to a partner in their retail practice. She most recently worked for Best Buy as the SVP international business process and operations.

 

 

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Survey: 4-out-of-5 smartphone users access retail content

BY Marianne Wilson

RESTON, Va. — Four-out-of-every-5 smartphone users — 85.9 million people — accessed retail content on their device in July, according to a study by ComScore.

Amazon led as the top retailer with an audience of 49.6 million visitors, representing 46.6% of smartphone owners, followed by eBay with 32.6 million visitors and Apple with 17.7 million visitors. Walmart had the largest reach among traditional brick-and-mortar retailers with 16.3 million visitors, followed by Target with 10 million visitors and Best Buy with 7.2 million smartphone visitors.

"With nearly 86 million Americans now shopping on their smartphones, this pronounced shift in consumer behavior is simply too large for retailers to ignore, with the future of their business depending on how well they adapt to the new environment," ComScore SVP mobile Mark Donovan said. "The retailers who best understand how consumers are engaging in mobile shopping behaviors and design their strategies accordingly will be best positioned to capitalize on these shifting market dynamics."

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