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Report: CVS, Dollar General and Walgreens each approached to bid on Fred’s

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Fred’s Super Dollar has visited CVS Caremark, Dollar General and Walgreens seeking bids for its Southeastern chain of discount stores, according to a report published Friday by Bloomberg News

Buyout firms including Miami-based H.I.G. Capital also were contacted, the report added.

Shares of Fred’s were up more than $1.50 to $19.60 in mid-afternoon trading. With 36.8 million shares outstanding, that places Fred’s market value at a little over $720 million. 

Citing estimates from MKM Partners and FBR, Fred’s could sell for as high as $24 per share, or $883 million, Bloomberg reported. 

 

 

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Nielsen study: Companies failing to meet needs of aging Americans

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Companies are missing the mark when it comes to engaging and catering to the needs of the aging consumer. That’s according to a new study by Nielsen.

“The findings serve as a wake-up call to manufacturers, retailers and other marketers that need to bolster efforts to better reach and cater to an aging demographic. Improvements, such as using larger fonts on product labels and signage, arranging age-related products in one place and at arm’s length for easier accessibility, and offering friendly customer service, can go a long way in building loyal patronage,” said Todd Hale, SVP consumer and shopper insights at Nielsen.

The study also found that there are generational differences in attitudes towards aging and their fears around getting older — younger consumers fear the loss of mobility and agility, while older consumers fear the loss of financial comfort and worry about how they will fund their retirement.  

Additional highlights from the study include:

  • 38% of Americans say they don’t see advertising that reflects older consumers

;
  • 44% say it’s difficult to find product labels that are easy to read;


  • 43% can’t find easy-to-open packaging;


  • 34% say they can’t find smaller portion-sized food packaging

;
  • 31% say products are not clearly labeled with nutritional information;
  • 

25% can’t find products geared towards their special nutritional needs;
  • 

60% of Americans don’t feel that they were financially set for retirement; 


  • 53% fear losing their self-reliance, such as the ability to drive, cook and shop

; and
  • 57% fear having enough money to live comfortably, and an equal number fear losing their mental and physical agility.

 

 

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Wegmans breaks down language barrier

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Wegmans blogger Mary Ellen Burris, SVP consumer affairs Wegmans, earlier this week outlined the grocer’s services for those patients who speak English as a second language or who don’t speak English at all. 

"Once it’s clear there is a language barrier, the pharmacist presents a simple card with several languages identified, and the patient/customer can point to his or language. There is access to 200 languages," Burris wrote. "A phone with two handsets allows both the pharmacist and the customer to be on the phone at the same time, with the interpreter, through a service called Language Line Solutions. Our pharmacy folks are trained in its use, and it was exciting to hear about the first time it was used at one of Rochester stores, on Mt. Read Blvd."

The Language Line Solutions service was instituted this past fall, Burris noted. 

"The second kind of assistance is something called Meducation — by our partner, Polyglot — for printed prescription drug information," she noted. Meducation is a simplified version of patient information available in several languages, including Spanish, Russian, Italian, Cantonese and Mandarin, plus 18 others.

 

 

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