CVS’ interim picks leave chain well-positioned for future
WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — After weeks of waiting to see how CVS Caremark would respond to Walmart’s successful bid to block the Hank Mullany hire, the company handed the keys to its retail stores to one of the most prolific merchants in drug store retailing and the man who has led its massive real estate machine.
(THE NEWS: CVS’ Bloom, Baker to lead chain’s retail business on interim basis. For the full story, click here)
For would-be pundits who may choose to second guess the "interim" tag, stranger things have happened than the possibility that one or both of these men could emerge as the permanent replacement to Larry Merlo when he becomes CEO this spring. Think about this: Walgreens chief Greg Wasson once held the "interim" tag.
Whether the company decides to stay with its in-house talent long term or again looks for outside expertise remains to be seen. Drug Store News salutes its recent announcement — in Bloom, Baker, Helena Foulkes, Jon Roberts, Per Lofberg and many of the other talented executives on the team Tom Ryan has assembled over the years, the company has left itself with a lot of options — ALL OF THEM GOOD.
Retailers on Fortune’s list have recipe for success
WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY ITS IMPORTANT — It’s no coincidence that Publix and Wegmans are two companies that also routinely wind up at the top of customer service surveys — testimony that satisfied employees who enjoy their workplace generally add that special ingredient to customer service. Having a totally energized work force, and knowing what it takes to keep them that way, that’s the "secret sauce" in retailing.
(THE NEWS: Fortune names Wegmans, Whole Foods, Publix top employers. For the full story, click here)
In June 2010, Publix and Wegmans ranked No. 5 and 13, respectively, out of 27 on Bloomberg Businessweek’s Customer Service Champs 2010 list.
The business news organization credited Publix for installing an auto-replenishment system in 2009 that improved out of stocks by 19%. But Publix also is one of the country’s largest employee-owned companies, and attaching $2,326 — the average amount awarded to employees holding Publix’ privately held stock in 2009 — to exemplary customer service can’t hurt the shopper experience, either.
Wegmans is another employer that invests heavily in its employees. Wegmans’ budget for customer service courses increased 13% in 2009 to $27.3 million, despite the fact that the country was in the middle of a recession. Another employee perk that hasn’t been cut because of a bad economy is tuition scholarships — 1,424 Wegmans employees explored higher education opportunities in 2009, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.
Pfizer extends tender offer for King
NEW YORK — Pfizer again has extended the expiration date on its tender offer to buy Bristol, Tenn.-based King Pharmaceuticals to Jan. 28, the drug maker said Friday.
Pfizer announced in October that it would buy King for $3.6 billion, or $14.25 per share. King manufactures branded prescription drugs, including several painkillers.
In December, Pfizer, the world’s largest drug maker, had extended its offer for King until Friday.