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CVS Caremark’s Charitable Trust donates funds to tornado relief efforts

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark’s Charitable Trust, the private foundation managed by CVS Caremark, has donated $75,000 to the American Red Cross in support of relief efforts in Alabama for communities impacted by tornadoes earlier this week.

In addition, CVS/pharmacy locations in Tuscaloosa, Pleasant Grove, Cullman and Cahaba Heights, Ala., will distribute $130,000 in free water, ice and other supplies on Friday to residents of these communities. In Tuscaloosa, which experienced some of the worst tornado damage, CVS/pharmacy is bringing in a mobile pharmacy trailer to help ensure that residents continue to have access to their prescribed medications.

"We have 150 stores in Alabama and more than 700 locations across the South, and we are concerned about the impact these tornadoes have had on our customers, employees and communities," stated Eileen Howard Boone, SVP corporate communications and community relations at CVS Caremark. "We hope our Charitable Trust’s donation to the American Red Cross and our store product donations to the community will provide some relief and benefit the recovery efforts under way in the region."

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OTC, vision categories drive Drugstore.com’s Q1

BY Michael Johnsen

BELLEVUE, Wash. — Drugstore.com on Thursday posted a net sales increase of 16% to $128.4 million for its first quarter ended April 3.

"In the first quarter, we delivered strong over-the-counter and vision [categories] growth of 16% and 17%, respectively," stated Dawn Lepore, Drugstore.com CEO and chairman. "With our continued investment in our marketing initiatives, we acquired approximately 540,000 new customers this quarter, up 13% over the first quarter of 2010.”

Drugstore.com made strategic progress on a number of fronts, Lepore reported, including the implementation of a new site navigation, the launch of three branded sites for Luxottica and the signing of an agreement with GSI Commerce for the company’s West Coast distribution center.

During the quarter, Drugstore.com incurred transaction expenses totaling $2.2 million related to the previously announced merger agreement with Walgreens. That acquisition is expected to close by the end of June. Including these expenses, Drugstore.com reported a net loss of $3.2 million and a net loss per share of 3 cents, compared with a net loss of $2.6 million and a net loss per share of 3 cents reported in the same period of the prior year.

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Publix raises funds for tornado victims

BY Allison Cerra

LAKELAND, Fla. — Publix announced that it has kicked off a donation program that offers customers and associates the opportunity to directly assist those in the South affected by recent tornadoes and severe weather.

Customers will be able to donate funds by adding them to their grocery totals at Publix registers. The funds will be channeled through the American Red Cross.

In a separate donation, Publix Super Markets Charities is contributing $100,000 to the American Red Cross for relief efforts for the areas affected by the tornadoes.

“Our customers and associates have trusted Publix to react quickly and help those affected by tragic circumstances,” said Maria Brous, director of media and community relations. “This disaster to the South hits close to home as we operate in some of the impacted areas. Our first priority was to account for our associates and then to focus on our operations in order to continue serving our communities in time of need.”

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