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Hallmark brings voices to storybooks

BY Allison Cerra

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Hallmark is expanding its Recordable Storybook collection by adding two classic titles to the line.

Readers now can add their own voices to "Goodnight Moon" and "Curious You on Your Way," which join the roster of such other classic stories as "Guess How Much I Love You," "Counting Kisses" and "On the Night You Were Born."

Hallmark Recordable Storybooks feature voice-capture technology so that when a page is turned, the book automatically plays the text on that page in the reader’s voice, allowing people to "read" to a child or other loved one. The line debuted in late 2009 with "The Night Before Christmas."

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Walgreens brings in new year with larger marketbasket

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Thursday posted January sales of $5.9 billion, representing an increase of 11.3% from last year. Early morning trading of Walgreens stock was up 51 cents to $42.48.

Only 2.8 percentage points of that increase can be attributed to the acquisition of Duane Reade, the Deerfield, Ill.-based retailer stated. Total front-end sales increased 11.5% in January, and pharmacy sales increased 10.8%, accounting for 66.1% of total sales for the month.

Sales in comparable stores were up 6.1%, with the effect of calendar day shifts positively impacting total comparable sales by 0.7 percentage points. Comparable-store front-end sales increased 4.5%, and customer traffic in comparable stores increased 2.4%, while basket size increased 2.1%. Same-store pharmacy sales were up 6.9%, negatively impacted by 2.9 percentage points due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months.

Prescriptions filled at comparable stores increased 6.3% in January, negatively impacted by 1.3 percentage points due to fewer flu shots. Flu shots administered season-to-date at pharmacies and clinics totaled more than 6.3 million.

Duane Reade stores were not included in any comparable-store results.

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Navarro promotes heart health

BY Michael Johnsen

MIAMI — Navarro Discount Pharmacies and a number of healthcare partners on Jan. 26 hosted a free health fair to kick off Heart Health Awareness Month in February, the pharmacy operator announced Wednesday.

For the approximate 200 people who attended, the event featured lifestyle presentations, information on medical issues, free product samplings from vendors and complimentary heart health screenings, including vascular screenings, body mass index, glucose, cholesterol, blood pressure and UHealth’s Heart Aware Risk Assessments.

TV personality, cookbook author and Navarro spokesman Chef Pepin also was on hand to spice up several healthy meals during the fair and to talk about how to adopt a healthier approach to food as part of a healthy diet. Chef Pepin gave out free recipes for healthy meals and stopped in to have his own blood pressure checked by Navarro pharmacists.

Navarro health fair partners included UHealth – University of Miami Health System, Dade Medical College and Hialeah Hospital, among others.

Participating community partners and vendors included Navarro Discount Pharmacy’s Diabetes Club members, Dade Medical Center, UHealth – University of Miami Health System, Miami Children’s Hospital, Abbott, Pfizer, Florida Heart Research and Hialeah Hospital. Vendors included Nutriforce and Wrigley Gum.

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