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NRF: Nearly 44,000 retail jobs added in August

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — The retail industry added 43,600 jobs last month, particularly in general merchandise, electronics and clothing, according to an industry trade group.

The numbers were based on calculations from the National Retail Federation, out of a total 169,000 jobs that the Bureau of Labor Statistics said the economy added in August, bringing the country’s unemployment rate down to 7.3%.

"The economy continues to sputter along," NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. "Employers and retailers are adding to their payrolls and ranks, but still remain guarded. The business community is hiring yet waiting for stronger signs of sustained economic growth before extending too many job offers."

NRF economist Jack Kleinhenz said that while not as strong as anticipated, the numbers indicate a more positive trend.

"We are expecting further signs of strengthening in the second half of the year," Kleinhenz said. "Retailers are making headway, but challenges remain. Slow wage growth and downward jobs revisions continue to indicate a reluctant economy."


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CVS/pharmacy brings back double Quarterly ExtraBucks promotion for limited time

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS/pharmacy has announced the return of its Quarterly ExtraBucks Rewards, a promotion and additional savings opportunity for members of the ExtraCare loyalty program.

For a limited time only, members of the ExtraCare program, which has more than 70 million active cardholders, can sign up to double their Quarterly ExtraBucks Rewards earnings when they shop at the more than 7,500 locations nationwide from Sept. 16 through Dec. 15. To commemorate CVS/pharmacy’s 50th anniversary, shoppers can also take advantage of special deals and savings online and in-store through the month of September.

"ExtraCare members are always looking for more savings and rewards. To that end, Double Quarterly ExtraBucks Rewards is back by popular demand," stated Rob Price, SVP and chief marketing officer for CVS/pharmacy. "Simultaneously, we’re celebrating our 50th anniversary by offering tremendous savings to shoppers in September. It’s a great way to thank our loyal customers by providing them with even more value during each shopping trip."


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Target to open first stores in Quebec, Nova Scotia

BY Alaric DeArment

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — With 68 stores already open across Canada, Target Corp. has released the timetable for the next batch of nearly two dozen, including the first stores in Quebec and Nova Scotia.

The mass merchandise retailer said it would open 14 stores on Sept. 17 and nine more on Oct. 18. A majority of the stores will feature a Starbucks, as well as a pharmacy. Most stores in Quebec will feature Brunet pharmacies, which will open in summer 2014.

Last month, Target announced a deal with McMahon Distributeur pharmaceutique Inc., a subsidiary of supermarket and drug store operator Metro, to operate pharmacies in Quebec under the Brunet banner. Under the deal, McMahon will enter agreements with pharmacist-owners who will own and operate the pharmacies, with McMahon providing supply chain and inventory services as well as operational support and the online MaSanté tool to let customers access their personal file online. The pharmacies will carry Target brands and provide customers with prescription, pharmacy and health consultation services.

"We look forward to opening our first stores in Quebec and Nova Scotia as we carry out an unprecedented retail expansion covering all 10 provinces across Canada this year," Target Canada president Tony Fisher said. "Quebec, Nova Scotia and Ontario offer a variety of culturally diverse markets, and we look forward to serving our new guests and engaging with these great communities."


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