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CVS Pharmacy to acquire 20 Fagen Pharmacy locations

BY David Salazar

WOONSOCKET, R.I. —  CVS Pharmacy will be acquiring 20 Fagen Pharmacy locations in northwest Indiana and northeast Illinois, the company announced Wednesday. Eight of the locations will be converted to CVS Pharmacy stores and 12 will be closed, with their files being transferred to nearby CVS Pharmacy locations.

“I’d like to thank all of our patients and employees for their loyalty and dedication over the past 45 years,” Fagen Pharmacy owner Gerald Fagen said. “I’m grateful to have been able to serve the pharmacy needs of our community and I am confident that CVS Pharmacy will provide the same top-notch customer service and pharmacy expertise we have provided at Fagen Pharmacy.”

The two companies said they were working to make the transition as seamless as possible. CVS Pharmacy said that it expects to hire many current Fagen Pharmacy employees currently working at the locations. Indiana stores in Crown Point, Valparaiso, Gary (two stores), East Chicago, Whiting, Michigan City and Griffith will be converted in September. Indiana stores closing include three in DeMotte, two in Valparaiso and one each in Rensselaer, Valparaiso, Portage, Gary and Hobart, as well as Illinois stores in Hobart, Beecher and Hammond.

“CVS Pharmacy looks forward to bringing its innovative pharmacy care programs and services to Fagen Pharmacy patients in Indiana and Illinois,” CVS Pharmacy area VP Everett Moore said. “We will continue to provide excellent care to patients and look forward to introducing our industry-leading offerings at these new locations.”

Per CVS Pharmacy’s 2014 decision not to sell tobacco products, none of the locations being converted will sell tobacco products. They will introduce a range of health, beauty and personal care products, exclusive private-label products and the CVS Pharmacy ExtraCare program, the companies said.

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Target bounces back in Q2

BY David Salazar

MINNEAPOLIS — Target came roaring back in its second quarter from a year-long sales slump amid evidence that its investments in online and store remodels are paying off. The discounter raised its outlook for the year.

Sales rose 1.6% to $16.43 billion in the quarter ended July 29, beating analysts' estimates of $16.30 billion. Same-store sales rose 1.3%, also more than analysts had expected. Comparable digital sales surged 32%.

Net income fell to $672 million, or $1.22 per share, from $680 million, or $1.16 per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding items, Target reported earnings of $1.23 per share, beating the average analyst estimate of $1.19.

On its quarterly call, Target gave an update on its store remodeling and new store plans. The retailer now plans to remodel more than 300 stores in 2018, up from its original 250.

Target also plans to nearly double the number of smaller-format stores it will open this year, with 15 new locations announced for 2018 and "more to come," CNBC reported.

Target announced its results on the heels of the news that it was acquiring technology transportation company Grand Junction, and that it was expanding its next-day delivery pilot, Target Restock.

In addition, Target is expanding its private label lines, and will launch two apparel brands, a home goods brand and an athleisure brand this fall. More are in the works.

In a statement, Target chairman and CEO said that the company was particularly pleased that second-quarter traffic increased more than 2%, reflecting growth in both its store and digital channels.
  
“We continue to focus on our long-term strategy, as we work to transform every part of our business and build an even better Target that will thrive in this new era in retail," Cornell said. "While our recent results are encouraging, we will continue to plan prudently as we invest in building our brands, our digital channel, the value we provide our guests and elevating service levels in our stores.”

For the full year, Target has forecast earning between $4.34 to $4.54 per share. Analysts had called for earnings per share of $4.39 in 2017, falling on the lower end of Target's updated range.
 

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Breathe aerosol cleaning line gets Wegmans launch

BY David Salazar

LOS ANGELES — Breathe, maker of a line of aerosol cleaning products, has launched in Wegmans’ 93 doors, the company announced Tuesday. The line of products is the first aerosol cleaning line certified by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Safer Choice Program, the company said.

Breathe products are powered by Starco Brands’ BreatheSafe technology, which doesn’t use such harmful petrochemical propellants as liquefied petroleum gas. Products include stainless steel, furniture, bathroom and multi-surface cleaners.

“We are honored to offer Breathe to Wegmans consumers first, as the retailer has a history of supporting products that are both efficient and safer for people, pets and the environment," Starco Brands CEO Ross Sklar said. “Breathe's air-powered technology is the future of aerosols by removing the toxic, flammable and carbon foot-printing propellants that make you need to open a window just to clean your bathroom.”

The company said it has plans for a nationwide rollout of Breathe in 2018.

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