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Dollar General appoints EVP store operations

BY Allison Cerra

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. — A former Safeway executive has joined Dollar General as its EVP store operations.

Effective March 19, Greg Sparks will assume all responsibilities for the operations of more than 9,900 retail stores in 38 states and serve on Dollar General’s real estate and store development committee, the company said. Sparks will report to chairman and CEO Rick Dreiling.

Sparks most recently served as president of Safeway’s Seattle division. His departure from the supermarket retailer was announced earlier this week.

“Greg is a proven leader with a breadth of retail experience across both operations and merchandising. Given that I have known Greg for 20 years and have had the opportunity to follow his career during this time, I believe Greg will be a great addition to Dollar General and help take our business to new levels of success,” Dreiling said.

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Recent seasons of ‘Burn Notice,’ ‘White Collar’ headed to DVD

BY Allison Cerra

LOS ANGELES — Two of USA Network’s primetime shows are coming to DVD, thanks to 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

The Season 3 DVD of "White Collar" features never-before-seen bonus footage, including deleted scenes, a gag reel, commentary on "Judgment Day," a "White Collar" trivia challenge for fans and a hilarious intervention caught on tape by the cast and crew with showrunner Jeff Eastin, who’s overzealous tweeting gets out of hand. The Season 5 DVD of "Burn Notice" features exclusive content, including an extended episode, deleted scenes, a gag reel and a thrilling featurette on the villains of the show.

"White Collar" Season 3 and "Burn Notice" Season 5 will hit retail June 5.

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Reports: WAG-RAD merger speculation drives RAD stock to four-year high

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Shares of Rite Aid crossed the $2 mark Wednesday afternoon following analyst speculation about the prospects of a takeover by Walgreens, according to published reports.

The New York Times reported that a report by a Credit Suisse analyst about why Walgreens "may" take over Rite Aid pushed the company’s stock up 9.6%, to $2.06, its highest level in four years, though it settled back down to $1.95 later in the afternoon. A Rite Aid spokeswoman told Drug Store News that the company had a policy of not commenting on industry speculation, and the Credit Suisse analyst, Edward Kelly, wrote that while strategically sensible, the deal could be too risky for Walgreens.

It’s not the first time Wall Street analysts have sought to create a buzz about the idea of the country’s largest retail pharmacy chain taking over the third largest. In November, analysts at Susquehanna Financial Group made similar statements, causing Rite Aid’s stock to go up by 7%.

Rite Aid, with just under 4,700 stores, compared with Walgreens’ more than 7,800, has carried a heavy debt load since its 2007 takeover of the Brooks and Eckerd drug store chains and has experienced numerous store closures. Nevertheless, it has sought to create growth through investments such as its Wellness+ loyalty card program, which has grown tremendously since its 2010 launch and generated widespread sales growth, including a 3.1% increase in comps in February. The chain also has been revamping its look with its Wellness store format, having completed 159 remodels as of December. And last month, it moved to refinance its debt with a $481 million bond offering.

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A.FEIN says:
Mar-14-2012 11:52 pm

On Tuesday's Drug Channels post, I asked: Rite Aid: Smart or Lucky? http://www.drugchannels.net/2012/03/rite-aid-smart-or-lucky.html This looks like another vote for lucky! Adam

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