Comps momentum continues at Target
MINNEAPOLIS — Target reported a 4.4% increase in May same-store sales that was toward the upper end of a guidance range that called for a low-to-mid single-digit increase.
The gain comes on top of a prior year increase of 2.8% and was driven primarily by an increase in transaction sizes and to a lesser extent increase in customer traffic. As in prior months, May results were strongest in food, which experienced a low double-digit increase. Apparel and health and beauty were also mentioned as top performing categories that grew faster than the company average. That wasn’t the case with the home and hardlines categories where a decline was evident.
The company said stores in every region of the country experienced a healthy increase in comparable-store sales, but beyond the high level category and regional comments there wasn’t much in the way of specifics. No mention of the effectiveness of the REDcard Rewards program as a driver of the increased transaction size or the impact of The Shops at Target merchandising initiative that hit stores in early May and brought newness to key categories and visual interest to stores. Instead, Target chairman, president and CEO Gregg Steinhafel spoke in generalities and commented on the company’s 50th anniversary.
“As we reflect on Target’s first 50 years and celebrate the power of our brand, the resilience of our strategy and the strength of our talented team, we’re confident that Target is well-positioned to continue delivering a superior guest experience and strong financial performance for many years to come,” Steinhafel said.
Perhaps shareholders will hear more about the company’s performance expectations when Steinhafel, board members and other executives assemble for the annual meeting on Wednesday, June 13. This year the event will be held inside a soon-to-open CityTarget store in downtown Chicago so meaningful insights into the growth potential of the format are likely to be shared.
House committee approves measure to restore OTC reimbursements under FSAs
WASHINGTON — The House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday approved the Restoring Access to Medication Act (H.R. 5842), which would repeal the provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that disqualified expenses for over-the-counter drugs as eligible for reimbursement under health savings accounts and flexible spending arrangements without a prescription.
“Today’s action by the Ways and Means Committee is an important first step in reducing the cost of healthcare for millions of Americans," said Scott Melville, president and CEO for the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. "OTC medicines are a vital part of our nation’s healthcare system and often serve as a first line treatment for many common, self-manageable conditions like colds, allergies, heartburn and headaches.”
According to the CHPA, nearly 10 million Americans used their FSAs to purchase OTC medicines before the Affordable Care Act was enacted.
NACDS launches 2012 Marketplace Conference mobile app
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has officially launched its 2012 Marketplace Conference mobile application.
The mobile app, which is sponsored by the Emerson Group, offers a toolkit for conference attendees to enhance planning and the overall experience for the NACDS Marketplace Conference. This year’s NACDS Marketplace Conference will be held June 23 to 26 in Denver.
The app provides attendees with hands-on access — right on their smartphone or tablet — to information to assist in planning ahead, as well as conducting business while on site at the conference. Exhibit floor maps, exhibitors list, schedule of events, speakers and photos are just a few of the tools that attendees can access using the mobile app.
By downloading the app, attendees also will receive alerts on upcoming events and activities to ensure the most up-do-date information regarding the conference. Attendees also can follow NACDS’ social media activities on Twitter and Facebook.
In addition, attendees can personalize their schedule for the conference with the “My Schedule” feature. Bookmarking an event on the conference schedule will display the event to the “My Schedule” feature. Custom items can also be added to “My Schedule,” enabling attendees to coordinate meetings and events.
In addition to the mobile app, the NACDS mobile website — m.NACDS.org — is fully updated with information about the meeting and all 2012 NACDS events.
“NACDS utilizes cutting-edge innovations in technology to enhance efficiencies and experiences in its member programs and services,” NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson said. “It’s through these innovations that NACDS members will continue to see the value and impact of NACDS conferences and meetings in their day-to-day business.”
The 2012 NACDS Marketplace Conference Mobile App can be downloaded on a number of mobile platforms. For iPhone (plus, iPod Touch and iPad) and Android phones: visit the App Store or Android Market on the phone and search for "2012 NACDS Marketplace Conference" and download the mobile app. For all other smartphones (including BlackBerry and all other Web browser-enabled phones) direct the mobile browser to http://m.core-apps.com/nacdsmp2012. From there, download the proper version of the app to match the device, or bookmark the page for future reference.