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H-E-B develops a food emporium

BY Allison Cerra

HOUSTON H.E. Butt Grocery Co. is launching a first-of-its-kind grocery store concept in Texas on Oct. 24, the company said Tuesday.

H-E-B’s Cypress Market, located in Cypress, Texas, is designed to fuse together the company’s food, drug, and central markets in a 112,000-square-foot store that is larger than most area retailers.

H-E-B Cypress Market will contain more expansive food categories, the company said. The new store is said to feature a bakery, a cheese shop (which will stock more than 400 specialty and imported cheeses), the largest meat market and one of the largest seafood departments in the area.

Additionally, its produce department will offer more than 900 different fruits and vegetables. Customers can get their hands on 2,000 varieties of wine.

Central Market’s Cafe on the Run will offer take-out and catering services featuring a large assortment of Central Market products including a sushi bar, a coffee roast area, a healthy living department and a tortilleria.

Cyndy Garza-Roberts, director of public affairs for H-E-B’s Houston Region, said plans for the Cypress Market have been in the works for several years now.

“Our future customers helped us create their ideal destination grocery store,” said Garza-Roberts.

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Kinney announces services for flu, pneumonia, breast cancer, diabetes

BY Michael Johnsen

GOUVERNEUR, N.Y. Kinney Drugs on Tuesday announced the addition of flu and pneumonia immunization clinics, breast cancer educational seminars, and diabetes screening/awareness programs in all of its markets.

The clinics started Sept. 29 and will continue through Nov. 28. Both flu and pneumonia vaccines will be free for people with Medicare Part B and many insurance programs are accepted. The immunizations will be administered by a registered nurse employed by Maxim Health Systems.

Breast Cancer Educational Programs will be available to customers at various stores throughout the chain. The programs offer a variety of educational information and services including a lecture by Lois Hjelmstad, a breast cancer survivor and author of two books. The program includes the Mobile Mammography, which operates within a coach-type bus and makes scheduled stops to bring mammograms to underserved populations in the northern New York, and a series of in-store educational programs through partnerships with community medical centers, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and local county Wellness Connection coordinators. 

And during the month of November, Kinney Drugs is teaming with 27 medical centers and hospitals to conduct diabetes screenings as part of Diabetes Awareness Month. The screenings will be held in all Kinney Drugs markets; customers will be given their glucose level via finger stick blood test and information on diabetes awareness, prevention and better care. The American Diabetes Association will be on hand at most stores to answer questions and offer their programs and services.

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Jean Coutu reports increase for Q1

BY Michael Johnsen

LONGUEUIL, Quebec The Jean Coutu Group on Tuesday reported an 8.2 percent increase in operating income, which totaled $55.5 million (in U.S. currency) for the first quarter ending Sept. 1, and includes the company’s share of Rite Aid’s results.

The share of the loss in the Jean Coutu Group’s first quarter 2008 earnings amounted to $30.3 million.

“We are satisfied with our first quarter results,” stated Jean Coutu, the Group’s chairman. “We continued to improve sales growth and operating performance in our Canadian network while Rite Aid began the integration of the acquired Brooks Eckerd stores. As expected, this integration will require a lot of effort and resources initially, but will result in even stronger synergies than anticipated when the transaction was closed.”

The company also announced Tuesday that Francois Coutu will resume command of the Canadian operations as president aand chief executive officer of the company. Jean Coutu, who assumed control of the Jean Coutu Group shortly before talks between Rite Aid and the Canadian drug store chain commenced over the sale of Brooks and Eckerd, will continue as Jean Coutu Group chairman.

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