Japanese Uniqlo takes on New York
NEW YORK — Fast Retailing, parent company of apparel shop Uniqlo, is on the fast track. The Japanese retailer has more than 1,013 Uniqlo stores in 11 different countries, and is working to expand its U.S. presence by opening stores in major cities across the nation. Its latest stop: New York City.
On Oct. 14, the company celebrated the opening of its flagship location at Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street. One week later, a second flagship store opened at 34th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. These stores mark the second and third stores in the United States. The first global flagship store opened in 2006 in New York’s SoHo neighborhood.
The new Fifth Avenue store, coming in at 89,000-sq.-ft., is the largest single retailer on Fifth Avenue, and the largest Uniqlo store in the world. Technology is fused with such raw materials as glass, oak and steel to create a chic, modern shopping experience. Both locations feature the latest in technology with a combination of LED and LCD screens throughout the store, handheld inventory checking devices and custom-made spinning mannequins showcasing Uniqlo style.
To see more photos, click here.
Food 4 Less, Ralphs launch campaign to support local food banks
LOS ANGELES — Food 4 Less and Ralphs Grocery announced that they are inviting customers to help support local food banks and families in need through a special fundraising campaign that kicks off Nov. 6. In addition, Food 4 Less’ Foods Co. division also is collecting donations for food banks in central and northern California.
Customers and Ralphs associates can support food banks in their community through the supermarket chain’s nonprofit arm, The Ralphs Fund, by donating their spare change in collection canisters located at the checkstands in their neighborhood Ralphs supermarket.
Food 4 Less and Foods Co. customers and team members can support food banks in their community through the supermarket chain’s nonprofit arm, The Food 4 Less/Foods Co. Fund, by donating their spare change in collection canisters located at the checkstands in Food 4 Less stores in Southern California, southern Nevada and greater Chicago, and at Foods Co. supermarkets in central and northern California.
The fundraising campaign will run from Nov. 6 through Jan. 28, 2012.
Monies collected will be donated to food banks and hunger relief organizations in the communities served by Food 4 Less and Foods Co. in California, southern Nevada, and the greater Chicago area. Monies collected from Ralphs will be donated to food banks and hunger relief organizations in communities across Southern California served by Ralphs stores.
"Food 4 Less has a firm commitment to give back to the communities that our customers and team members call home," said Bryan Kaltenbach, president of Food 4 Less/Foods Co. "Through our ‘Bringing Hope to the Table’ checkstand fundraising campaign, our customers and team members can drive funds to local food banks to help hungry families who are our neighbors."
"Now more than ever, food banks and other hunger organizations are stressed and stretched," Ralphs president Donna Giordano said. "People who have never been in need before have been hurt by the difficult economy and they are struggling to meet their families’ basic food needs."
Biggest news to take note of? MinuteClinic’s continued growth
WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — One very quiet bit of news worthy of a bit more attention: MinuteClinic is up to 645 clinics. Clinic revenues were up more than 15% during the quarter, and the company expects MinuteClinic will break even as planned by the end of the year. That’s important because the third quarter isn’t exactly a big cold-and-flu month, which means that patients are starting to use clinics for more than just sick care. Third quarter is back to school, which suggests the clinics likely were busier doing other things, such as vaccinations and physicals.
(THE NEWS: CVS’ Merlo: PBM continues to demonstrate success. For the full story, click here)
CVS already has reached its goal for this year of 100 new clinics for the year. It has told analysts it will deliver at least 100 more in each of the next couple of years, leading up to implementation of the Patient Care Act. DSN believes that as policy-makers begin to understand what they are, what they do and how they help bend the cost curve, retail clinics will play a much larger role in the American healthcare system. This will happen regardless of the direction health reform goes in this country — even if the entire thing is somehow repealed, which despite recent polls, is very unlikely to happen. DSN doesn’t see the Supreme Court throwing it out.
But let’s just say it did, though. You still can’t put the genie back in the bottle. Without some mechanism in place to check the rising cost of healthcare, DSN anticipates the continued growth of consumer-directed care, with more of the onus for managing cost on the patient. As this kind of cost-sharing increases, consumers will vote with their feet and retail clinic visits will continue to increase. And if health reform continues as planned, 33 million people who didn’t have insurance suddenly will. That could create even more pressure on Medicaid, forcing CMS and the states to look for cheaper ways to provide care.
That’s why DSN thinks the MinuteClinic news deserves more attention.