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RetailNext reports drop in traditional graduation gift shopping

BY Allison Cerra

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Shopping for traditional gifting items during graduation season has declined, according to a recent RetailNext study.

The company — which analyzed 513 U.S. retail stores, looking at traffic, transactions, rate and length of engagement with individual product categories, dollars sold and rate of converting shoppers to purchasers ("conversion") — found that the nation as a whole declined roughly 5% in shopping for traditional gifting items during graduation. Additionally, fairly consistent nationwide decreases in traffic to stores (down 5.4%), transactions at the register (down 4.7%), sales in dollars (down 4.3%) and items sold (down 5.6%) were recorded.

RetailNext did report, however, found a marked uptick in gift card shopping: Shoppers visited gift cards as a category 18% more often than in the baseline period, with a whopping 32% increase in shopping for cash-equivalent debit cards.

"This sharp increase in shopping for gift cards — and especially those debit cards that are taken in most stores — implies a preference for providing the recipient more flexibility in using the value of the gift," RetailNext VP insights Chitra Balasubramanian said. "That might reflect frugality in the present down economy and soft job market."

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The Little Clinic partners with University of Louisville Physicians

BY Antoinette Alexander

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Little Clinic has announced a collaborative affiliation with the University of Louisville Physicians’ Preventive Cardiology practice, which marks the third affiliation that The Little Clinic has formed with a medical group.

The partnership focuses on the management of hypertension for patients currently without a primary care physician. The relationship will create more convenient and affordable treatment by offering much of the ongoing monitoring for hypertension at The Little Clinic locations inside select Louisville Kroger stores.

“By partnering with University of Louisville Physicians, we’re able to assist in the identification and monitoring of hypertension, a condition that millions of Americans face, a large percentage without even knowing,” stated Ken Patric, chief medical officer for The Little Clinic. “Because we are open seven days a week, including evenings, The Little Clinic is able to bridge the gap between scheduling healthcare appointments and competing demands with a convenient option for patients seeking care."

“Our first clinics opened in Louisville in 2003, and it’s exciting to continue to grow in this market. The communities surrounding these clinics have been great hosts, and we believe this relationship will benefit them tremendously,” Patric added. 

Locations currently offering the hypertension-monitoring program include:

  • The Little Clinic: 5533 New Cut Road, Louisville;
  • The Little Clinic: 2219 Holiday Manor Center, Louisville;
  • The Little Clinic: 234 Eastbrook Pkwy., Mt. Washington; and
  • The Little Clinic: 9440 Brownsboro Road, Louisville.

“The collaboration with The Little Clinic is a wonderful opportunity for University of Louisville Physicians to expand our reach in the community,” stated ULP cardiologist Marcus Stoddard. “We are excited to serve as a resource for hypertensive patients and offer them access to our world-class cardiologists.”

This affiliation is the third that The Little Clinic has formed with a leading medical group. The Little Clinic and the Ohio State University Medical Center developed a partnership in 2011 at its Lewis Center, Ohio, clinic and also recently signed an affiliation agreement with the University of Colorado.

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R.HAMMERLE says:
Jul-03-2012 08:45 am

As the nation's leading retail clinic owned by a supermarket, TLC is just beginning to tap its opportunities in the field of preventive health services with this focus on hypertension. Two other major chronic diseases (obesity and diabetes) also seem natural foci, since all three involve food as a cause, cure or key for disease management. Still, one has to wonder-- after the retail clinic industry has spent more than a decade trying to establish a sustainable economic model-- why their owners have not incorporated higher income medical services and why their owners don't see them as integrated ports of entry for the retailers' own, self-insured employees. In Kroger's case, that could bring in 300,000 new patients a year without ever having to sell the service outside the company's own base of employees. Ron Hammerle Chairman and CEO Health Resources, Ltd. Tampa, Florida

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Conversion under way for Genuardi’s stores in greater Philadelphia market

BY Allison Cerra

CARLISLE, Pa. — Giant Food has commenced its conversion of 15 former Genuardi’s stores.

The announcement follows Giant Food, an Ahold subsidiary, getting the green light from the Federal Trade Commission for its plan to acquire 15 Genuardi’s stores, located in the greater Philadelphia area, from Safeway.

During the conversion process, five stores at a time will temporarily close for about a week. The three-phase staggered approach is expected to be completed on July 22.

"During the three weeks of conversion, we will strive to minimize the amount of disruption to our customers," Giant Food Stores president Rick Herring said. "Giant is committed to this multi-million dollar investment to improve the overall shopping experience in these 15 stores to meet the quality, selection and savings that customers have come to expect from Giant."

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