Reports: Target making clinic push in Chicago
NEW YORK — Target is expanding its retail clinic presence in the Chicago area, according to published reports.
The Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday that the mass merchandise retailer would open three clinics — two in the suburbs and one in the city. Construction is scheduled to start on May 28, and grand openings are planned for Aug. 18. The Target on Division Street, scheduled to open in October, will also have a clinic.
Target is planning to open 14 new clinics around the country, for a total of 68. Other locations include Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham, N.C., northern Virginia and Baltimore.
The clinics provide more than 60 services, including vaccinations, provided by licensed nurse practitioners and physician assistants.
Retail sales rise 1.1% in February
WASHINGTON — Retail sales for the month of February rose by 1.1% seasonally adjusted month to month, according to figures released Wednesday by the Department of Commerce.
The newly released figures include nongeneral merchandise categories, such as automobiles, gas stations and restaurants; excluding those, sales rose 0.7%, while rising 0.5% unadjusted year over year. The National Retail Federation noted that sales beat estimates as consumers adapted and adjusted spending in response to higher gas prices and the payroll tax increase.
"Retail continues to show its importance to the economy," NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. "That said, our consumer research consistently shows a cautious shopper that is making tough spending decisions based on economic uncertainties, lower paychecks and higher prices for things, such as gas. This is particularly true for those making $50,000 or less a year. While retail sales numbers indicate good momentum for the economy, consumers with less earning power may continue to face ongoing pressure, and retail sales will encounter further challenges as sequestration takes full effect in March."
Health and personal care stores’ sales were flat seasonally adjusted month to month, and decreased 2.9% unadjusted year over year, while general merchandise stores sales saw a 0.5% increase adjusted month to month and a 4.7% decrease unadjusted year-over-year.
Guggenheim Securities analyst John Heinbockel noted in a report that overall retail sales, excluding cars and fuel, increased 4% in February, flat compared with January but below the 4.6% increase in February 2012.
"In such a moderating growth environment, we have an ongoing preference for more defensively positioned retailers, those with more consumables-oriented business mixes and average to below-average valuation levels," Heinbockel wrote, adding that Guggenheim would continue encouraging the buying of dollar store and pharmacy retail stocks, with the idea that both channels would continue generating above-average profit growth beyond the first quarter.
Meryl Streep appears in colorectal cancer-screening campaign
LOS ANGELES — Actress Meryl Streep will encourage people to get screened for colorectal cancer in a new series of public service announcements from the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the groups said Wednesday.
The PSAs will premiere Wednesday on ABC’s "Katie!," hosted by Katie Couric, who cofounded the EIF NCCRA, and are part of the CDC’s Screen for Life campaign, a multiyear effort to educate Americans about the importance of regular colorectal cancer screening for men and women ages 50 years and older.
Streep is the third Oscar-winning actor to appear in the Screen for Life campaign, after Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton.
"For me, screening was simple and quick," Streep said. "It was no big deal, except for the huge sense of relief you feel afterward."