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Shoppers Drug Mart posts Q3 results

BY Antoinette Alexander

TORONTO — Canadian pharmacy retailer Shoppers Drug Mart posted a 2.4% increase in sales for the third quarter, driven by continued strength in prescription count growth and front-end sales.

For the quarter ended Oct. 5, the company posted sales of Canadian $3.29 billion, up 2.4% compared with the year-ago period. Same-store sales rose 2.2%.

In pharmacy, sales totaled C$1.58 billion, up 2.7% compared with the year-ago period. The company attributed the increase to strong growth in the number of prescriptions filled at retail combined with sales gains in the company’s long-term care business, which were partially offset by further reduction in average prescription value. Pharmacy same-store sales increased 1.8% during the quarter.

Front-end sales increased 2.2% to C$1.71 billion, led by strong growth in cosmetics, OTC medications, and food and confection, the company stated. Shoppers Drug Mart did invest more heavily in promotional activity during quarter in response to heightened competition in the marketplace. The promotional activity provided “effective in driving the increase in average basket size,” the company noted. Front-end same-store sales increased 2.4%.

Including pre-tax costs associated with the pending acquisition of by Loblaw Cos., earnings for the quarter totaled C$166 million compared with C$168 million in the year-ago period. Diluted net earnings per share were 83 Canadian cents compared with 81 Canadian cents in the year-ago period.

As previously reported, Loblaw and Shoppers Drug Mart announced on July 15 a definitive agreement under which Loblaw will acquire Shoppers Drug Mart for C$12.4 billion in cash and stock. In September, shareholders voted in favor of the proposed acquisition, which is expected to close before the end of the first quarter 2014.

"We are pleased with our third quarter results. In what was an eventful quarter for our company, we continued to execute on our strategic priorities and initiatives while never compromising on our commitment to providing the best in patient care and customer service. For that, I would like to thank our employees, associate-owners and their teams at store level for their efforts and contributions in what is also a very challenging economic, competitive and regulatory environment,” Domenic Pilla, president and CEO stated. “The pending acquisition of the company by Loblaw Cos. Ltd. will change the retail landscape in this country by bringing together Canada’s leading food and pharmacy retailers. And while this transaction must still be reviewed and approved by the Competition Bureau, we are excited by the prospects of new growth opportunities, enhancing our product and service offering and meeting the challenges facing our collective teams."

During a conference call with analysts Tuesday afternoon, Pilla said the company’s two enhanced BeautyBOUTIQUES are “performing above expectations” and plans are in place to expand the roll out.

As previously reported by Drug Store News, the company unveiled its second enhanced beautyBOUTIQUE at the Toronto Eaton Centre in August. The first enhanced BeautyBOUTIQUE opened in November 2012 in an existing Shoppers Drug Mart store in Bayview Village in Toronto.

“We definitely intend to add more enhanced BeautyBOUTIQUES to our offer in the near future,” Pilla told analysts.

With regard to its more traditional BeautyBOUTIQUES, the company will end the year with about 348 BeautyBOUTIQUES and, going forward, looks to continue to the expand the product mix and number of BeautyBOUTIQUES.

The company is also pleased with the performance of the e-commerce component of murale.ca, the web site for its luxury beauty destination Murale. The site’s launch was announced in April 2012.

“That continues to growth steadily as well as giving us great learnings on how we could deploy an e-commerce strategy in the rest of our business,” said Pilla. “So, Murale has been a great platform to work with the brands and continues to be performing well and provides us with a laboratory or learning opportunity around our e-commerce strategy.”

 

 

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CVS Caremark names chief scientific officer and chief medical officer, provider innovation and analytics

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark has announced the appointment of William Shrank as chief scientific officer and chief medical officer, provider innovation and analytics.

In this role, Shrank will focus on the development of innovative pharmacy solutions to help improve the quality of care while lowering costs in order to help health care providers deliver services to distinct patient populations.

Shrank will oversee the company’s overall research and clinical program development with the goal of delivering new methods of evaluating innovative programs and initiatives.
 
Shrank is experienced in pharmaceutical outcomes research and has published extensively on topics including the evaluation of various pharmacy benefit designs, the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug benefit, medication adherence for chronic conditions and ensuring high-quality patient communications regarding the risks and benefits of prescribed medications. Prior to joining CVS Caremark, Shrank was a practicing physician with Brigham Internal Medicine Associates as well as an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. Previously, Shrank served as director, research and rapid-cycle evaluation for the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

"As CVS Caremark continues to focus on identifying and developing innovative pharmacy care programs that improve outcomes and reduce overall costs, Will’s depth of experience as a researcher make him uniquely qualified to oversee our research agenda," stated Troyen Brennan, EVP and chief medical officer of CVS Caremark. "His insights and expertise will enable us to continue to develop new solutions to improve care and quality for patients dealing with chronic disease."

"I look forward to working with the team at CVS Caremark to find new ways to further the company’s research efforts," added Shrank. "To date, CVS Caremark has built a strong reputation as a leader in medication adherence research and we look forward to expanding upon this focus and uncovering new learnings to help our clients improve outcomes while managing cost."
 

 

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Harris Teeter raises $8.3 million in charitable donations over fiscal year

BY Michael Johnsen

MATTHEWS, N.C. — Harris Teeter on Monday announced the chain donated as much as $8.3 million to its nonprofit partners during its 2013 fiscal year ended Oct. 1. The company also donated 5.1 million pounds of food to hunger relief organization — more than 1.4 million pounds than the previous year. 

Harris Teeter supports a variety of non-profit organizations in its communities including local food banks, recreational youth sports organizations, schools grades k-12 and United Way. The fiscal year 2013 giving total represents monies donated through a combination of company contributions, vendor-sponsored programs, in-store merchandising campaigns and donation card campaigns, as well as associate contributions made through Harris Teeter’s annual Community Cares Associate Giving Program.

Contributions made to non-profit organizations between Oct. 2, 2012 and Oct. 1, 2013 include:

$1.3 million to schools through Together in Education; $550,000 to hunger-relief organizations as part of a donation card campaign;$340,000 to JDRF as part of a donation card campaign;$587,000 to USO and Wounded Warrior Project as part of a donation card campaign; and$520,000 to United Way as part of a donation card campaign. 

Harris Teeter’s Community Cares Associate Giving Program and United Way Donation Card Campaign marked the final charitable campaign in the company’s 2013 fiscal year.  As part of the campaign, Harris Teeter associates made pledges totaling nearly $2 million to organizations including American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, United Way, food bank partners, Arts & Science Council in Mecklenburg County and the Hugh Ashcraft Foundation. 

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