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CVS reports more than $1.5 billion in savings for the ExtraCare program

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS announced on Wednesday that its ExtraCare cardholders received a total of more than $1.5 billion in money-saving offers and rewards last year by using their loyalty card each time they shopped at a CVS pharmacy location or on the retailer’s Web site.

“In today’s economy, people are looking for ways to save money wherever they can. The best advice for saving money without feeling the pain is to make small changes in daily activities—buying store brands instead of name brand products—and taking advantage of rewards programs that can offer savings on everyday purchases,” stated John Barron, director of relationship management at CVS.

With more than 50 million cardholders, CVS’ ExtraCare program is the largest consumer rewards program in the nation, according to the company. Cardholders receive 2 percent of all purchases back quarterly, delivered in the form of free “CVS money” called Extra Bucks. In addition, members receive benefits such as instant targeted offers on register receipts. More than 10 million ExtraCare members have enrolled in CVS’ email alerts program, which delivers additional coupons and health and beauty information directly to shoppers’ email inboxes.

According to CVS, the following cities represent communities where shoppers saved the highest amount of money through the ExtraCare program during the last six months of 2007:

  • Boston: Shoppers saved nearly $3.4 million in ExtraCare savings and rewards.
  • Los Angeles: Shoppers saved more than $2.7 million in ExtraCare savings and rewards.
  • Detroit: Shoppers saved about $2.5 million in ExtraCare savings and rewards.
  • Washington, D.C.: Shoppers saved more than $2.3 million in ExtraCare savings and rewards.
  • Philadelphia: Shoppers saved more than $2 million in ExtraCare savings and rewards.

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Energizer to debut mercury-free batteries this fall

BY Doug Desjardins

ST. LOUIS Energizer plans to roll out a new line of eco-friendly hearing aid batteries this fall. The company plans to debut its mercury-free hearing aid batteries on or before Oct. 1 at all major retailers.

The hearing aid batteries will come in four sizes and will be the first batteries of their kind to contain no mercury, a heavy metal that ends up in landfills when the batteries are thrown out.

“While the amount of mercury we removed was small in comparison to other mercury containing products, we’re nevertheless pleased to be taking the lead with our hearing aid batteries,” said Serge Traylor, Energizer brand manager.

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Jewel-Osco to test small-store concept

BY Drug Store News Team

MELROSE PARK, Ill. Jewel-Osco says it will open a new small-format store in the Chicago area later this year.

Dubbed “Urban Fresh,” the 16,000-square-foot store will open in the Lincoln Park section of Chicago this fall. The store will emphasize ready-to-go meals along with a selection of fresh meats, seafood and produce. Parent company Supervalu has not said whether the store would feature a pharmacy.

“The smaller-store format is an exciting complement to our larger, more traditional grocery stores,” said Keith Nielsen, president of Jewell-Osco, which currently has 32 stores in the Chicago area.

Urban Fresh will be the latest in a growing number of small-format grocery stores launched in the United States during the past year. Tesco currently has 65 Fresh & Easy stores on the West Coast and Safeway opened its first “The Market” store in Long Beach, Calif. in late May. And Wal-Mart plans to open four small “Marketside” grocery stores in Phoenix this fall.

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