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Armada Health Care moves headquarters

BY Allison Cerra

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. A specialty pharmacy channel management organization has moved its headquarters.

Armada Health Care said Wednesday it has moved its headquarters from Short Hills, N.J., to Florham Park. The new Armada office, which is nearly four times larger than their previous office space, will enable the Armada organization to meet the growing demand for its broad range of professional services and unique specialty pharmacy programs, the company said.

Robert Irene, Armada president, stated, “Our new office location provides the ideal facility to support the expansion of our specialty programs through a unique business model. I am extremely proud of the hard work and effort that our professional team has put forth throughout the recent years. We look forward to continuing to offer our customized programs and contracting expertise to the nation’s specialty pharmacy market from our new, larger location.”

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Nielsen, Catalina Marketing announce joint venture

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK One of the world’s largest providers of media and consumer information and analytics announced its joint venture with a global leader in consumer-driven print communications.

The Nielsen Co. and Catalina Marketing Corp. have formed Nielsen Catalina Ventures to create the next generation of precision media solutions and return on investment measurement tools to allow consumer packaged goods and media companies to more effectively link the marketing exposures consumers see with what products they actually buy.

The 50-50% joint venture will integrate information from Nielsen’s industry-leading TV, Internet and household purchase panels, with purchase data from more than 50 million shoppers from a cross-section of retailers in Catalina Marketing’s network.

“As consumers become more sophisticated and media platforms continue to fragment, advertisers must be able to build more precise and measurable media plans,” said David Calhoun, chairman and CEO at Nielsen. “The only way to get there is with faster, deeper information. Nielsen and Catalina’s combined capabilities provide comprehensive, scalable solutions for clients to better shape their marketing investments and measure their campaign ROI with far greater precision, speed and agility. We are pleased to partner with Catalina Marketing in this first step toward a holistic measure of ROI that will redefine accountability in the CPG space.”

Nielsen Catalina Ventures will launch its first precision media solutions in the first half of 2010. Nielsen’s existing television and online precision media businesses, which currently use Nielsen’s Homescan purchase panel to match media consumption with purchase behavior, will be integrated with Catalina Marketing’s shopper data. This will allow analyses for many more brand campaigns than is currently possible. And for the first time ever, the television offering will be based on data from Nielsen’s National People Meter panel, the industry currency, to create solutions for measuring the sales impact of TV advertising campaigns.

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Costco takes another bite of the Big Apple with new Manhattan unit

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK —Costco opened its first store in Manhattan on Nov. 12, in Spanish Harlem. Though the store is the fourth in New York City—following stores in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island—Costco had to make a lot of changes to fit the store into such a tightly packed area.

“It’s a challenge relative to the size,” Costco CEO Jim Sinegal told Drug Store News. “We had to crowd a lot in and configure it differently.”

The store has many of the products and departments familiar to Costco shoppers, including a pharmacy, but it had to forgo products that would not suit most New Yorkers, such as patio furniture and giant bags of pet food.

“We’ve probably come down a little bit on the bulk items,” EVP and CFO Richard Galanti told Drug Store News. “With that exception, we’re trying to offer the full breadth and depth of what we typically offer.”

In terms of the pharmacy, the store’s location has led it to serve the neighborhood’s many Spanish-speaking inhabitants. “One of the things we do is have plenty of Spanish-speaking employees,” regional pharmacy manager for the Northeast Tom Drougas said. “That’s always a plus.”

As required by law, the pharmacy also has Language Line, a service that allows speakers of numerous languages to receive translation services from trained staff over the telephone. Customers also can consult with staff through the pharmacy’s patient consultation window or in the private consultation room, which includes a DVD player allowing patients to watch videos about disease states.

Despite the slightly smaller size, the store mostly is the same as others in the chain, including in terms of prices. “I think that’s a novelty for Manhattan, right there,” Sinegal said.

According to published reports, Costco plans to open another store in Queens next year.

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