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Sears Holdings narrows losses in Q2 as comps decline

BY Alaric DeArment

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Sears Holdings, the parent company of Kmart, posted a 3.7% decline in same-store sales and a $132 million loss for second quarter 2012, according to financial results announced Thursday.

The loss was slightly smaller than the $152 million loss posted in second quarter 2011, while sales for the company were $9.5 billion, down $671 million, compared with the same period last year. The decline in comps included a 4.7% decline in Kmart comps and a 2.9% decline in Sears comps in the United States. Kmart’s total sales during the quarter were $3.4 billion, compared with $3.6 billion in second quarter 2011.

"We continue to make progress against the priorities we outlines in our fourth quarter earnings release and call," Sears Holdings president and CEO Lou D’Ambrosio said. "In particular, we have improved our profit position, as we reduced expenses and expanded marring rate through more effective promotional design. We have also successfully lowered inventory, reduced debt from year end and enhanced our liquidity."

The company said the decline in comps came from price compression in consumer electronics, a decline in lawn and garden sales due to drought conditions in many parts of the country, improved inventory in seasonal merchandise leading to lower clearance sales primarily in the apparel categories and a decline in pharmacy sales due to increased use of generic drugs.

Meanwhile, the narrowing in the company’s losses was due to a reduction in selling and administrative expenses and an improvement in gross margin rate, the company said.

As of July 28, the company operated 1,261 Kmart stores and 814 domestic Sears stores, compared with 1,304 Kmart stores and 884 domestic Sears stores as of July 30, 2011.

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Pharmaca expands immunization offerings

BY Michael Johnsen

BOULDER, Colo. — Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy on Tuesday announced that it now is offering immunizations for influenza, whooping cough, pneumonia and shingles on a walk-in basis at all of its locations. Pharmaca pharmacists can provide the shots to any customer who requests one during open pharmacy hours.
 
“Immunizations can be vital to reducing the risk of serious illness from flu and whooping cough,” Pharmaca VP pharmacy operations Stuart Gratz said. “The Centers for Disease Control have identified the populations that can benefit most from certain immunizations, and we’re happy to be able to serve those needs.

"By offering these vaccinations at any time, we’re serving the needs of customers who feel that immunization is the best option for them — and making it most convenient for them," Gratz said. "Pharmaca has made the process even simpler by making patient intake forms available for download on [the] website. Patients can save time by filling them out ahead of time and bringing them with them when they request an immunization."

Pharmaca also will hold Vaccination Clinics every Tuesday between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. throughout the flu season.


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Study: ‘Yo-yo dieting’ represents no adverse effect to metabolism or ability to lose weight long-term

BY Michael Johnsen

SEATTLE — "Yo-yo dieting" — the repetitive loss and regain of body weight — does not negatively affect metabolism or the ability to lose weight long term, researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center reported in a new study published in the journal Metabolism.

“A history of unsuccessful weight loss should not dissuade an individual from future attempts to shed pounds or diminish the role of a healthy diet and regular physical activity in successful weight management,” stated the study’s senior author Anne McTiernan, a member of the Hutchinson Center’s Public Health Sciences Division. “We know there’s an association between obesity, sedentary behavior and increased risk of certain cancers,” McTiernan said. “The World Health Organization estimates that a quarter to a third of cancers could be prevented with maintenance of normal weight and keeping a physically active lifestyle."

The study was based on data from 439 overweight-to-obese, sedentary Seattle-area women, ages 50 to 75 years, who were randomly assigned to one of four groups: reduced-calorie diet only, exercise only (mainly brisk walking), reduced-calorie diet plus exercise and a control group that received no intervention. At the end of the yearlong study, participants on the diet-only and diet-plus-exercise arms lost an average of 10% of their starting weight, which was the goal of the intervention.

The analysis aimed to determine whether women with a history of moderate or severe weight cycling were at a disadvantage compared with nonweight-cyclers when it came to losing weight. Of the study participants overall, 18% met the criteria for severe weight cycling (having reported losing 20 or more pounds on three or more occasions) and 24% met the criteria for moderate weight cycling (having reported losing 10 or more pounds on three or more occasions).

Although severe weight cyclers were, on average, nearly 20 pounds heavier than noncyclers at the start of the study, at the end of the study, the researchers found no significant differences between those who "yo-yo dieted" and those who didn’t with regard to the ability to successfully participate in diet and/or exercise programs. The cyclers also did not differ from the noncyclers with regard to the impact of diet or diet-plus-exercise on weight loss, percentage of body fat and lean muscle mass gained or lost. Other physiological factors, such as blood pressure, insulin sensitivity and blood concentrations of such hormones as leptin (which helps make one feel full) and adiponectin (which helps regulate glucose levels) also did not differ significantly among those whose weight fluctuated and those whose did not.


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J.Tyme says:
Aug-17-2012 09:34 am

I agree with this. Diet is the most important factor. I recently bought a treadmill after reading the reviews on http://treadmillshq.com and some other sites. I have to say after exercising for a few months and changing my diet I can say I see a change. But I knew that the diet is the main thing.

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