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FTC clears Walgreens’ acquisition of Duane Reade

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens has received regulatory clearance from the Federal Trade Commission needed to acquire Duane Reade, the drug store chain announced Tuesday.

“We’re clear to move forward and complete the Duane Reade acquisition, which will immediately give Walgreens a leading position in the nation’s largest drug store market,” said Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson. “We look forward to combining the strengths of our two companies to best serve our customers in the New York metropolitan area and the many communities we serve nationwide, while also creating real value for our shareholders.”

Last month, Walgreens signed a definitive agreement under which Walgreens will acquire Duane Reade from affiliates of Oak Hill Capital Partners. In the cash transaction, Walgreens will acquire all 257 Duane Reade drug stores in the New York metropolitan area, as well as the corporate office and two distribution centers.

Walgreens expects to complete the acquisition in early to mid-April.

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StoreBoard gets new SVP, office in Minneapolis

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK StoreBoard Media opened a new office in Minneapolis and will be run by its newest SVP, the company announced Monday.

The indoor billboard network’s newest office will be run by Edward Parker, who will be responsible for supporting the company’s retail initiatives and helping to expand its retail network.

Parker, a Minneapolis native, joins StoreBoard from Supervalu, where he was director of sales and marketing for the company’s store design services division. In that role, Parker represented to independent grocers nationwide all the services necessary to create powerful retail environments including store planning, architecture and engineering, interior design, branding, visual merchandising, project management and equipment procurement.

“Edward Parker brings to StoreBoard Media a two-decade track record of developing profitable in-store and online marketing programs, as well as award-winning retail environments,” said Doug Leeds, StoreBoard’s CEO. “He is a great addition to our management team at a time when we are poised to expand our in-store media network beyond the drug store category. Ed’s relationships and expertise in myriad categories of retail will be of great value as we enter this next phase of our growth.”

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Supervalu sells Bigg’s stores

BY Allison Cerra

MINNEAPOLIS Six Bigg’s stores and their pharmacies will be sold to a northern Kentucky-based supermarket chain.

Supervalu said it has entered an agreement with Remke Markets to transfer the ownership of six Bigg’s stores and their pharmacies in the greater Cincinnati area. The transaction is expected to close in spring 2010 and will bring Remke Markets’ complement of locally owned and operated stores to 13. Each of these locations will be supplied by the Supervalu distribution center in Xenia, Ohio.

“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome these bigg’s stores and their customers into the Remke family,” said Bill Remke, president and CEO of Remke Markets. “The Bigg’s stores bring many assets to our organization, and we look forward to blending the strengths of two great grocery chains to create an organization committed to service, quality and value.”

Supervalu said it plans to close its five remaining Bigg’s stores before the end of May. Its Kentucky-based Bigg’s stores’ prescription files will be transferred to Remke Market’s Turfway store later this spring. The other four pharmacies’ files will be transferred to another local company.

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