News

Retail industry showed significant job growth in April; unemployment falls by 0.1%

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — The retail industry added nearly 30,000 jobs last month amid a general uptick in hiring that brought unemployment down to 7.5%, according to the Department of Labor.

The department’s monthly jobs report showed the economy added 165,000 jobs, including 29,000 in the retail industry, which accounts for the largest number of private sector jobs. In addition, the March jobs report, which initially showed that the economy added only 88,000 jobs, was revised upward to 138,000, while the February report was revised upward to 332,000.

"Today’s solid employment news, combined with positive March revisions, may bode well for the broader economy and portend steady retail sales in April," National Retail Federation chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said. "Retailers are continuing to find innovative ways to engage shoppers with the right mix of products, inventory and employment to meet their customers’ demands. With the significant decrease in jobless claims — at the lowest level since the recession — and an uptick in personal discretionary spending and consumer confidence, today’s news is very promising."

Nevertheless, the NRF said concerns remained about the payroll tax increase, the sequester and the upcoming debt ceiling debate in Congress.


Like this story? Find us on Facebook for more insight, analysis and the latest in drug store news. Join the conversation.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

News

Budweiser launches fundraising campaign to benefit military families

BY Jason Owen

ST. LOUIS — Starting this Sunday, May 5, for every Budweiser sold through July 4, the company will donate a portion of proceeds to the Folds of Honor Foundation to support military families.

Since 2010, Budweiser has raised more than $5 million for the Folds of Honor Foundation and provided more than 1,000 educational scholarships to the families of soldiers killed or disabled in service. In 2013, for every case of Budweiser sold from May 5 to July 4, the brand will make a donation up to $1 million to the Folds of Honor Foundation. To kick off the program, the Anheuser-Busch Foundation is donating an additional $500,000, with a total of $1.5 million possible for Folds of Honor.

"The Folds of Honor Foundation gives back, through scholarships and other assistance, to the families of soldiers wounded or fallen while serving their country," said Lori Shambro, director of Budweiser. "This is why Budweiser has supported this great organization for the last several years and why, once again, buying Budweiser will benefit military families through the Fourth of July holiday."

Each Budweiser — including draught — sold between May 5 and July 4 will trigger a donation, including some new items set to hit store shelves. These new items include:

  • Budweiser’s limited-edition red, white and blue packaging. This year’s patriotic packaging will start appearing in stores in late May and will be available in 12 oz bottles and a variety of can sizes (12 oz, 16 oz, 24 oz). The patriotic theme continues on secondary packaging for all of the top-selling configurations, including 6-packs, 12-packs, 24-packs and other popular sizes.
  • A unique bowtie-shaped can (available in a new, not-previously-offered 8 pack) that will be available in stores on May 6.

"No matter what the package color, shape or size: America’s beer supports America’s heroes because from May to July, buying Budweiser benefits military families," Shambro said. "Our partnership with Folds of Honor is helping to make a difference in the lives of families whose loved ones have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the freedoms we all hold so dear."

This is one component in a series of activations Budweiser has in store for its 2013 "red, white and blue summer" initiative. As part of this program, the Budweiser Clydesdales will visit military bases across the United States during a series of barbecues to celebrate the men and women in the U.S. armed forces.


Like this story? Find us on Facebook for more insight, analysis and the latest in drug store news. Join the conversation.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

News

April sales up 3.8% across Walgreens

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Friday posted April sales of $6 billion, an increase of 3.8% as compared to the same month in fiscal 2012. 

Total front-end sales decreased 2.9%, while comparable store front-end sales decreased 4.3%. Customer traffic in comparable stores decreased 5.9% while basket size increased 1.6%.

"The shift in Easter should have a material negative impact on the front-end sales of the drug stores in April, but we believe the difficult underlying trends that have settled in for some time now likely continued," suggested Ed Kelly, Credit Suisse research analyst, in a note published Wednesday. "Our monthly Nielsen trend-tracker indicated that sales were flat in the drug store channel for the four-week period ending April 13, with volumes down roughly 3%. In our view, drug stores are losing share to lower priced competitors (e.g. mass, dollar stores priced around 25% to 30% below drug stores), particularly as weakened consumers focus on value," Kelly wrote. "[And] changes in Walgreens’ promotional program when it launched a loyalty card have also caused issues at this company."

For the combined March/April period that includes the Easter holiday season, comparable store front-end sales decreased by 0.2%, while customer traffic in comparable stores decreased 4% and basket size increased 3.8%.

Prescriptions filled at comparable stores increased by 9.7% in April and increased 6.3% on a calendar day-shift adjusted basis. This year’s April had one additional Tuesday and one fewer Sunday compared with April 2012.  

These calendar shifts positively impacted both comparable pharmacy sales and prescriptions filled at comparable stores by 3.4 percentage points. 

April pharmacy sales increased by 7.3%, while comparable store pharmacy sales increased 4.7% and increased by a calendar day-shift adjusted 1.3%. 

Pharmacy sales accounted for 64.5% of Walgreens’ total sales for the month.

Sales in comparable stores increased by 1.2% in April. Calendar day shifts positively impacted total comparable sales by 2.2 percentage points, while generic drug introductions in the last 12 months negatively impacted total comparable sales by 2.6 percentage points. 

Sales for the combined months of March and April 2013 increased 3% from the same two months in 2012. Comparable store sales for the March/April period increased 0.8%.

Registrations for Walgreens Balance Rewards loyalty program, which launched in September, totaled more than 68 million through April.

 

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES