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Shopko offers interim supplies of drugs to insurance marketplace enrollees

BY Alaric DeArment

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Shopko is the latest retailer to offer prescriptions at no upfront cost to customers who have enrolled in the new health insurance marketplaces but haven’t received their identification cards.

The retail chain said Monday that it would offer supplies of prescriptions in the interim to customers who could provide proof of enrollment. The chain operates 326 stores in the Midwest, Rocky Mountain, North Central and Pacific Northwest regions.

"Consistent with our usual practice, Shopko will do what is needed to take care of the customer so they do not experience any delays filling prescriptions and getting necessary medications," Shopko COO Mike Bettiga said.

 

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Raley’s hires Revionics to offer social media rewards program

BY Alaric DeArment

AUSTIN, Texas — Supermarket chain Raley’s Family of Fine Stores has hired an Austin, Texas-based company to help it launch a new social media rewards program.

Revionics said Monday that the West Sacramento, Calif.-based chain would use its social commerce software system to power the Extra Friendzy social media rewards program. The program allows the chain to inform customers about time-sensitive and limited-quantity offers through social media channels like Facebook, as well as strengthening customer engagement, driving in-store traffic and persuading customers to join the Something Extra rewards program. Raley’s operates 128 stores in northern California and Nevada under the Raley’s, Bel Air, Nob Hill Foods and Food Source banners.

"We are continually evaluating and adopting innovative ways to improve our marketing and customer loyalty efforts," Raley’s director of marketing, customer relationship management and analytics Tom Hutchison said, adding that the program would help keep customers engaged and ready to shop, in addition to growing advocacy for the company through social media.

 

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Walgreens’ December same-store sales up 6.1%

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Monday reported December sales of $7.2 billion, an increase of 7.2%. Sales in comparable stores increased by 6.1% in December. Calendar day shifts positively impacted total comparable sales by 170 basis points, while generic drug introductions in the last 12 months negatively impacted total comparable sales by 70 basis points. December 2013 had one additional Tuesday and one fewer Saturday compared with December 2012. 

Total front-end sales increased 4% compared with the same month in fiscal 2013, while comparable store front-end sales increased 2.5%. Customer traffic in comparable stores decreased 1.3% while basket size increased 3.8%.

Prescriptions filled at comparable stores increased by 5.3% in December and increased 2.4% on a calendar day-shift adjusted basis. These calendar shifts positively impacted prescriptions filled at comparable stores by 290 basis points.

Prescriptions filled at comparable stores were negatively impacted by 40 basis points due to fewer flu shots in the month versus last year and were negatively impacted by 80 basis points due to the lower incidence of flu in December 2013.

December pharmacy sales increased by 10.2%, while comparable store pharmacy sales increased 9% and increased by a calendar day-shift adjusted 6.1%. 

Pharmacy sales accounted for 58.3% of total sales for the month.

Flu shots administered at pharmacies and clinics season to date were more than 6.7 million versus nearly 5.5 million last year.

Calendar 2013 sales totaled $73.7 billion, an increase of 4.5%. Fiscal 2014 year-to-date sales for the first four months were $25.5 billion, up 6.3% as compared to the comparable period in fiscal 2013.

Walgreens opened five stores during December, including one relocation, acquired three stores and closed six.

 

 

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