Reports: Bi-Lo to retire Sweetbay, Reid’s brands
NEW YORK — The Sweetbay Supermarket chain will change to the Winn-Dixie banner, which was acquired by Bi-Lo Holdings in 2011, according to published reports.
The Tampa Bay, Fla., Times reported Bi-Lo planned to retire the Sweetbay name next year. Kash n’ Karry changed its name to Sweetbay in 2004.
The 72 Sweetbay stores were part of the total 165 that Bi-Lo bought from Belgium-based Delhaize Group earlier this year. The $265 million acquisition also included 72 Harveys stores and 11 Reid’s stores, as well as leases on 10 former Sweetbay stores. According to the Tampa Bay Times, the Harveys stores will keep that name, but the Reid’s stores will adopt the Bi-Lo name.
Poll: Adults plan to take steps to avoid flu but not other preventable diseases
WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. — Flu is at the top of the list of diseases older adults plan to ask about, according to results from a new Harris Interactive consumer awareness survey, sponsored by Merck. Most of the more than 600 surveyed adults age 60 years and older are at least somewhat likely to ask their healthcare professional about preventing the flu this year, and are significantly more likely to ask about this than prevention of such other potentially serious diseases as shingles.
Shingles, the common name for herpes zoster, is a disease caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. Once a person has chickenpox, the virus never leaves the body. At some point later in life this virus can reactivate and erupt as shingles — a red blistering rash that can be very painful. Any person who has had chickenpox is at risk for developing shingles, and 98% of adults in the United States have had chickenpox. A person’s risk for shingles increases as they get older, even if they are healthy. There are approximately 1 million cases of shingles each year in the United States, and the CDC estimates that one-in-three people will get shingles during their lifetime.
The survey also revealed the importance of physicians and pharmacists in encouraging vaccination. The survey indicated that 79% of older adults would be at least somewhat likely to receive the shingles vaccine if it were recommended by their doctor or pharmacist. Adults ages 60 years and older were 58% more likely to receive the shingles vaccine if recommended by their healthcare professional than to ask for the vaccine proactively (79% vs. 50%, respectively).
“It is important for people ages 60 [years] and older to get the shingles vaccine because it is the only way to help reduce the risk of getting shingles, but vaccination rates for shingles remain well below those for other adult vaccines against flu or pneumococcal disease,” said Eddy Bresnitz, executive director global medical affairs and policy in Merck’s vaccines division. “The results from this poll are a clear call to action for healthcare providers. It is important that a conversation about shingles takes place with their patients, both about the disease and vaccination against it.”
Merck’s shingles vaccine, Zostavax, is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for adults ages 50 years and older to help prevent shingles. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults ages 60 years and older get vaccinated to help prevent shingles.
Costco sales, profits increase in Q4
ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Costco Wholesale had sales of $31.8 billion in fourth quarter 2013 and $102.9 billion in fiscal year 2013, the club retailer said Wednesday.
The sales figures respectively represented a 1% and 6% increase over the same period last year. Profit for the quarter was $617 million, compared with $609 million in fourth quarter 2012, and $2.04 billion for the fiscal year, compared with $1.71 billion in fiscal year 2012.
In the company’s U.S. division, same-store sales increased by 5% during the quarter and 6% during the fiscal year; for the company as a whole, including stores overseas, fourth quarter and fiscal year 2013 comps respectively increased 5% and 6%, including the effects of foreign exchange rates and gas price fluctuations. For the month of October, U.S. comps increased 5%. Due to the effects of foreign exchange rates, international comps were flat, and comps for the chain overall increased by 3%.
The Issaquah, Wash.-based chain operates 638 stores, including 454 in the United States.