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Reports: Meijer to eliminate double coupons at some Mich., Ind. stores

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Meijer is ending double coupons at some of its stores in Michigan and Indiana, according to published reports.

A sign at a Meijer store in Jackson, Mich., shown in a photo posted on the bargain website bargainstobounty.com, read, "To keep our everyday prices low, we will no longer double coupons after 3/30/13. Enjoy even easier savings with digital coupons."

According to published reports, the mass merchandise chain was planning to eliminate double coupons in the Battle Creek and Lansing, Mich., markets, as well as Fort Wayne and South Bend, Ind. Double coupons are when a retailer promises to double the face value of a coupon, for example, offering a $2 discount on a coupon valued at $1.

Mperks, Meijer’s digital coupon system, was launched in late August 2010, and the number of subscribers hit the 1 million mark in January 2013, gaining 101,000 new members in December 2012, as well as 13.7 million clipped offers and $5 million in savings.

 

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Target to soft-open first three Canadian stores

BY Alaric DeArment

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — Target will open its first locations in Canada on Tuesday, the mass merchandise retailer said.

Target announced Monday that it would soft open the three stores in Guelph, Milton and Fergus, Ontario, the first of the 124 stores it plans to open across the country in 2013. The openings are part of a testing process designed to prepare systems, train employees and determine operational readiness as the company plans to open 24 stores in the province this month. The three stores will open Tuesday at 8 a.m., and each will include a pharmacy and in-store Starbucks.

"The Target team is excited to open these test locations as we put the finishing touches on our stores, assortments and inventory," Target Canada president Tony Fisher said. "We look forward to delivering on our ‘Expect More. Pay Less.’ brand promise and providing an outstanding shopping experience as we approach our grand opening in early April."

 

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Sequester will hamper disease-prevention efforts, report warns

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Automatic spending cuts stemming from the failure of Congress and the White House to reach a budget deal will likely harm the disease-preventing capabilities of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a new report.

GlobalData, a market research and analytics firm, said the slashing of the CDC’s funding by $450 million, or 8%, due to the sequester would both hamper its ability to prevent infectious diseases through immunization, surveillance and response programs while also failing to accomplish the goal of decreasing federal spending.

"The incidence of chronic infections, such as viral hepatitis, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases also would be expected to increase with the elimination of prevention programs," GlobalData infectious disease analyst Christopher Pace said, adding that disease prevention is one of the most economically viable methods for reducing long-term healthcare costs. "These chronic infections require lifelong treatment that can become expensive."

According to the American Public Health Association, reducing the CDC’s ability to prevent diseases means that 30,000 children and 20,000 adults won’t be vaccinated against preventable diseases like whooping cough, measles, tetanus and tuberculosis. The drug industry also will be affected, as a report by the Senate Appropriations Committee Majority Staff estimates that about 650,000 fewer people will be tested for HIV, and 12,000 fewer uninsured patients with HIV will receive therapy this year. This, the report found, could push providers toward lower-cost therapies, decreasing demand for more expensive ones.

"The resulting increase in the incidence of preventable foodborne and infectious disease illnesses would increase the demand for therapeutics, such as antiviral and antimicrobial drugs," GlobalData infectious disease analyst Brad Tebbets said. "This market growth would likely cost taxpayers more in the long term, both fiscally and physically, than any of the perceived short-term savings that would be realized as part of the sequestration." 

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