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Family Dollar declares quarterly dividend

BY Allison Cerra

MATTHEWS, N.C. — Family Dollar said its board of directors declared a regular quarterly cash dividend on the company’s common stock of 21 cents per share.

The dividend is made payable July 13 to shareholders of record at the close of business on June 15.

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CVS Caremark releases 2011 corporate social responsibility report

BY Allison Cerra

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark announced on Tuesday the release of its 2011 corporate social responsibility report.

Providing an overview of the company’s commitments to environmental stewardship and diversity, improving patient health outcomes, as well as its continued status as an employer of choice and to helping people — especially children and the underserved — access care and services through its social investments, this year’s CSR unveils CVS Caremark’s strategy for reinventing pharmacy for better health and also highlights the company’s focus on diversity, both within its own workforce and in active engagement with the communities it serves. What’s more, the report features CVS Caremark’s progress related to the goal of reducing its carbon intensity by 15% by 2018 through a variety of sustainability measures. This year’s report includes an accounting of the company’s political contributions and activities, a first for CVS Caremark.

The report, titled "Helping People on Their Path to Better Health," is available online at Cvscaremark.com/CSR.

"The process of measuring our progress and performance and assessing the outcomes of our efforts to date in such areas as workplace, diversity, governance, products and services and the environment, helps us to be more accountable to our stakeholders," CVS Caremark president and CEO Larry Merlo said. "We’re pleased to share this report and the exciting progress we’re making, in many different ways, every single day."

The CVS Caremark 2011 CSR report was developed in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative G3 guidelines, an international framework that is recognized and used by organizations to report on their CSR and sustainability performance.

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ComScore: Q1 online retail spending rose 17%

BY Allison Cerra

RESTON, Va. — ComScore reported that online retail spending reached $44.3 billion for first quarter 2012, up 17% from the year-ago period.

ComScore said retail e-commerce sale estimates represented the tenth consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth and sixth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth. Additional findings included:

  • 48.8% of e-commerce transactions included free shipping, the highest percentage for a quarter on record outside of the holiday season;

  • When it came to mobile shoppers, ComScore found that 38% of tablet owners have made a purchase on their devices within the past month.

"The first quarter of this year was especially strong for retail e-commerce as we returned to year-over-year growth rates in the high teens, numbers we haven’t seen since 2007," ComScore chairman Gian Fulgoni said. "While the economic recovery continues to be painfully slow, the channel shift to e-commerce appears to be accelerating. This presents opportunities but also challenges for brick-and-mortar retailers if they can’t hold onto their offline market share in the digital world. E-commerce has reached critical mass in several product categories, and it will be important to monitor these sales trends by category in order to correctly gauge the impact e-commerce is having on overall retailer performance."

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