Sears Holdings sales decrease in Q1
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Black turned to red for Kmart parent company Sears Holdings as the company reported losses of $279 million for first-quarter 2013, compared with a $189 million profit in first-quarter 2012.
At the same time, despite a 3.6% decline in comps during the quarter for the company’s U.S. business, online business for its Sears.com and Kmart.com website grew by 20%, and members of its Shop Your Way loyalty program generated more than 60% of sales.
"Our recent financial performance has not been acceptable, although we have seen some positive momentum as sales per member increased, and our online business grew 20% in the quarter," Sears Holdings chairman and CEO Eddie Lampert said. "During the quarter, we have accelerated our activity to transform Sears Holdings into a leading integrated retailer that fosters relationships with members through our Shop Your Way platform."
Part of that, Lampert said, includes new mobile services like Member Assist, which allows members of the loyalty program to communicate directly with its store staff remotely.
During the quarter, the whole company had sales of $8.5 billion, down by $818 million from first-quarter 2012, primarily due to there being fewer Kmart and Sears stores in operation, lower comps and the separation of the Sears Hometown and Outlet businesses that occurred last year. Comps for Kmart, which was operating 1,211 stores as of May 4, decreased by 4.6%, while total sales were $3.1 billion, compared with $3.4 billion last year, when it had 1,290 stores.
A.G. Lafley rejoins P&G as chairman, president and CEO
CINCINNATI — Procter & Gamble has brought back former chief A.G. Lafley to serve as president and CEO, effective immediately. He also has been elected to the board and will serve as its chairman.
Lafley joined P&G in 1977 and served as president and CEO from 2000 to 2009. He succeeds Bob McDonald, who is retiring from the company on June 30, after 33 years of service.
Jim McNerney, presiding director of P&G’s board, said, "A.G.’s track record and his depth of experience at P&G make him uniquely qualified to lead the company forward at this important time. The board expects A.G. to further improve results, implement the current productivity plan, and facilitate an ongoing succession process. The board is confident that he will continue improving P&G’s performance.”
McNerney added, “We thank Bob for his service and note the company’s improving business performance. Under his leadership, the company expanded its business in developing markets, built a strong innovation pipeline, and has made substantial progress implementing a $10 billion cost savings and productivity program.”
McDonald joined the company in 1980 and served as president and CEO from 2009 to 2013.
The company confirmed its fiscal year and fourth quarter guidance, as stated in the recent third quarter earnings release.
‘Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.’
“Risk comes from not knowing what you're doing.” — Warren Buffett
Risk is everywhere in our lives. The trick, as Mr. Buffett says, is to manage it through knowledge. Your exposure to risk in the pharmacy businesses may come about from various sources.
Theft, litigation, competition, financial risk, risk that you will see Emdeon’s VP of Pharmacy Sales, Richard Brook in a Harlem Shake video…. and audit risk.
Warning you about the Harlem Shake video should have prepared you to manage it by avoiding it, but I know that some of you still clicked on the link!
Audit risk continues to grow in its impact upon pharmacy operations. To successfully operate a retail pharmacy in today’s environment, it is imperative that you understand your exposure to audit risk and utilize ALL of the tools available to help mitigate that risk.
How big of a deal is this today? From NCPA’s September 2012 Survey of Community Pharmacies Impact of Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) Contracting and Auditing Practices on Patient Care: “Over 58.7% of independent community pharmacies stated that PBM reimbursement and auditing practices are very significantly affecting their ability to provide patient care and remain in business.”
There are many drivers increasing the expansion of audits. And with the ever-present constraints on congressional budgets and the near term implementation of quality initiatives associated with the Affordable Care Act, pharmacy auditing will likely continue to grow in prevalence.
The good news is that there are solutions in the market place that are designed to mitigate audit risk focused on the following:
- Prevention in terms of administrative integrity. Examining the claim proactively and reactively to promote complete, accurate and appropriate information being furnished to the payer (i.e., pre and post editing);
- Services that assist in managing the transactional process and audit prevention with regard to operational or technical procedures. One example to consider relates to dispense-as-written (DAW) codes. Dispensing a brand name drug with a missing or incorrect DAW code can lead to reduced reimbursement and create audit potential;
- Reporting that allows for reactive analysis through modeling and trending based upon statistical analysis of reimbursement of existing claim traffic;
- Utilizing edits to prevent filling prescriptions from ineligible providers. By capturing the ineligible status prior to dispensing, you can help mitigate your audit risk;
- Contracting with healthcare payers. You MUST examine your network contracts with healthcare payers and comply with their terms to enable a smoother process.
Again, there are any number of tools designed to assist with audit risk mitigation. Take charge of your risk, know it, manage it.
Emdeon VP of pharmacy network services
As VP of pharmacy network services at Emdeon, Paul Hooper directs the company’s pharmacy network services initiatives with a focus on developing programs, standards and partnerships that increase pharmacy efficiency and reduce healthcare costs. Paul has spent more than 25 years in the healthcare industry with a predominant focus in pharmacy. During this time, he has held roles in product development, systems, finance and operations at various recognized industry leaders: BASF, Abbott Laboratories, Cardinal Health, ArcLight and Emdeon. He holds a master's degree in business administration from Ohio University and a bachelor of science in food science from The Pennsylvania State University.