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Costco Wholesale posts 2% lift in January sales despite SB shift and extreme weather

BY Michael Johnsen

ISSAQUAH, Wash.  – Costco Wholesale on Wednesday reported net sales of $8.3 billion for the four weeks ended Jan. 31, an increase of 2% as compared to the similar period last year. Comparable store sales were up 1% in the U.S.
 
For the twenty-two weeks ended Jan. 31, the company reported net sales of $50 billion, also representing an increase of 2% vs. the year-ago period. In the U.S., same-store sales were up 3%. 
 
"The Super Bowl calendar shift and some extreme weather events negatively impacted our results," noted Jeff Elliot, assistant VP finance and investor relations at Costco Wholesale. 
 
 
 
 

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Rite Aid shareholders approve Walgreens Boots Alliance merger

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid stockholders have voted to approve the proposed merger with Walgreens Boots Alliance, the Pennsylvania retailer announced Thursday morning. 
 
Approximately 97% of the votes cast at today's special meeting of stockholders voted in favor of the adoption of the merger agreement, which represented approximately 74% of Rite Aid's total outstanding shares of common stock as of the Dec. 18, 2015 record date and constitutes a majority of the outstanding shares of Rite Aid common stock entitled to vote at the special meeting. 
 
In a separate item, 89% of votes cast by Rite Aid stockholders at the special meeting approved, by means of a non-binding, advisory vote, compensation that will or may become payable by Rite Aid to its named executive officers in connection with the merger. 
 
Upon completion of the merger, Rite Aid's stockholders will be entitled to receive $9 in cash for each share of Rite Aid's common stock that such stockholder owns. 
 
The merger, which is expected to be completed in the second half of calendar 2016, is subject to the satisfaction of certain remaining customary closing conditions.
 
 

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Publix expands specialty pharmacy in new AmerisourceBergen deal

BY Michael Johnsen

VALLEY FORGE, Pa. – AmerisourceBergen and Publix on Thursday announced a long-term agreement encompassing the distribution of branded, generic and over-the-counter health and pharmaceutical products. The agreement also enables Publix’s network of more than 980 pharmacy locations across the southeast to expand patient access to specialty medications.
 
“Publix continues to push the boundaries of how our pharmacy business operates in order to improve the experience and health outcomes we create for our customers,” stated Fred Ottolino, Publix VP pharmacy. “With AmerisourceBergen we’ve found a partner who shares our passion for patient care and who has the knowledge and capability we need to execute our strategies.” 
 
The agreement, which includes direct delivery to all Publix pharmacies as well as warehouse and central fill facilities, extends beyond traditional distribution and includes access to AmerisourceBergen’s Cubixx inventory management solution. This radio frequency identification-enabled technology will be used by Publix to facilitate the dispensing of a range of specialty medications in their community pharmacies. 
 
Publix will also benefit from technological solutions designed to support overall inventory efficiency and will have access to consultative services from AmerisourceBergen as they continue to evolve their specialty pharmacy services.
 
“Innovative pharmacy leaders are simplifying and improving the patient experience of getting needed medications,” said Steven Collis, president and CEO AmerisourceBergen. “Publix is doing just that and we are thrilled to have the solutions and expertise in place to support their mission and to help them unlock additional value in their pharmacy operation.” 
 
 
 
 

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