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Shoppers Drug Mart announces increase for FY 2007

BY Michael Johnsen

TORONTO Shoppers Drug Mart on Tuesday reported a sales increase of 8.9 percent to $8.4 billion (in U.S. dollars) for its fiscal 2007 ending Dec. 29.

Prescription sales increased 9.1 percent to $4 billion and front-store sales were up 8.7 percent to $4.5 billion. On a same-store basis, sales increased 5.2 percent, with prescription sales up 5.8 percent and front-store comp sales up 4.7 percent.

In fiscal 2007, prescription sales accounted for 47 percent of the company’s sales mix compared to 46.9 percent in the prior year.

At year-end, there were 1,121 stores in the system, comprised of 1,057 drug stores and 64 Shoppers Home Health Care stores. During 2007, the selling square footage of the store network increased by 11.5 percent, to in excess of 9.7 million square feet at year end.

Shoppers Drug Mart expects total sales to increase by between 10.5 percent and 12 percent in 2008, a 53-week fiscal year. This expectation is underpinned by projected same-store sales growth, expressed on a 52-week basis, of between 5 percent and 6 percent in pharmacy and 4.5 percent to 5.5 percent in the front store.

Shoppers Drug Mart plans to allocate approximately $500 million to capital expenditures in 2008, with approximately 80 percent of this amount being invested in the store network, including acquisitions of drug stores, prescription files and land. Once again, this should result in an increase in selling square footage of more than 10 percent, the company stated, with the addition of between 120 and 130 new drug stores, approximately 40 to 45 of which will be relocations, and through the completion of up to 10 major expansions.

The Company also plans to add up to five home health care stores to its network in 2008.

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Rite Aid names new svp of human resources

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid on Monday promoted Steve Parsons to senior vice president of human resources.

“We’re fortunate Steve decided to join Rite Aid when we acquired Brooks/Eckerd because he has been invaluable in helping us combine the two companies,” stated Mary Sammons, Rite Aid president, chairman and chief executive officer. “His wide-ranging experience in all aspects of human resources has been a big benefit to Rite Aid, and we have been impressed by all he’s accomplished in such a short time. We look forward to what he can bring to our company with these additional responsibilities.”

Parsons previously had been group vice president. Parsons initially joined Rite Aid in June 2007 with the company’s acquisition of the Brooks/Eckerd drug store chain. As the former senior vice president of human resources for Brooks/Eckerd, he has played a key role in integrating more than 1,800 acquired stores and 45,000 new associates into Rite Aid, the company announced.

In his new position, Parsons, 43, will be responsible for all aspects of human resources, including compensation and benefits, training, recruitment, talent management, leadership development, labor relations, customer satisfaction initiatives, diversity programs and change management. Rite Aid currently has more than 115,000 associates.

Parsons will report directly to Sammons. He succeeds Todd McCarty, who is leaving the company to take another position.

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Spartan Stores launches Habitat fundraising campaign

BY Michael Johnsen

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Spartan Stores recently launched a statewide Habitat for Humanity campaign with the goal of raising $100,000 in February to support “The House That Spartan Built,” as well as Habitat chapters in the state where Spartan operates stores, progressivegrocer.com reported Friday.

The chain will be asking customers to donate in increments of $1, $5 or $10 at checkout, where they will be able to write their names on scan cards that will be displayed throughout each individual store.

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