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Shoppers Drug Mart’s Q4 driven by front end

BY Allison Cerra

TORONTO — Front-end sales rendered positive results for Shoppers Drug Mart during the fourth quarter ended Jan. 1, the Canadian drug store chain said.

Strong sales gains in the beauty, confection and convenient food and beverage categories drove front-end sales up 5.5%, Shoppers reported. The big gain, the company said, contributed to the 2.9% increase of its fourth-quarter sales to nearly $2.6 billion.

Prescription sales for the chain, however, fell about 0.2%.

Shoppers Drug Mart also disclosed that its fourth-quarter net earnings per share reached nearly 80 cents.

Meanwhile, sales during fiscal year 2010 totaled $10.4 billion, compared with about $10.1 billion in 2009.

During the fourth quarter, 10 drug stores were opened, eight of which were relocations, and the company completed five major drug store expansions. For the fiscal year ended Jan. 1, Shoppers opened or acquired 75 drug stores, 43 of which were relocations, and consolidated or closed 10 smaller drug stores and three home health care stores.

Looking ahead, the company expects total sales to increase by between 2% and 3% in 2011. Shoppers also said it anticipates same-store sales growth between 2% and 3% in the front end and flat same-store sales growth in pharmacy.

As previously reported, Shoppers president and CEO Jürgen Schreiber exited the company. Shoppers Drug Mart said while it is continuing to look for a replacement, board chairman David Williams will serve as the company’s president and CEO on an interim basis.

“Given that fiscal 2010 was a particularly challenging year on a number of fronts, we are encouraged by our performance in the fourth quarter and the momentum it provides as we prepare to confront the challenges and capitalize on the opportunities that lie ahead in 2011 and beyond," Williams said. "These operating and financial results speak not only to the strength of our brand and the power of our value proposition with patients and customers, but also to the leadership of our associate-owners and the capabilities of their teams at store level."

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CDC reports steady rise in influenza

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention measured a steady rise in influenza — both in number of cases and severity — for the week ended Feb. 5.

There are 19 states that now are experiencing high levels of influenza-like illnesses as measured by outpatient visits — a measuring stick that provides a sense as to how severe the flu might be in a community but not how prevalent it is. The proportion of outpatient visits for ILI was 4.6%, which is above the national baseline of 2.5%.

However, as many as 37 states reported that the flu is “widespread” as determined by state epidemiologists, the CDC reported.

To date, all of the influenza virsuses characterized this season have been good matches against this year’s flu shot, suggesting those who have been inoculated should be well protected.

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Food Lion recognizes Bloom store manager with award

BY Antoinette Alexander

SALISBURY, N.C. — The Food Lion Family and Bloom have recognized Scott Brinson as the recipient of the 2010 store manager excellence award. Brinson, who is the store manager of a Food Lion in Jacksonville, N.C., was selected from a group of seven other market/banner winners.

The store manager excellence awards are a key part of Food Lion Family’s and Bloom’s efforts to acknowledge the leadership role store managers play. Food Lion Family president Cathy Green Burns presented Brinson with the award earlier this week during the company’s Leadership Summit.

"Scott sets a very high standard for his store," stated Brinson’s district manager Chris Whaley. "Scott does a great job in motivating his associates to achieve greatness in all that they do. He uses a common sense approach to his business to achieve positive outcome."

The store manager excellence award selection includes nine areas of focus: associate development, leadership, strategic decision-making, cross-organizational collaboration and teamwork, executional excellence, extraordinary results, great customer experiences, community involvement, and diversity and inclusion.

"There were other people who could have won it, but I guess I was the lucky one this year," stated Brinson, who has worked with Food Lion for 19 years, with nine of those years as store manager. "It is a humbling experience for me because this is such a prestigious award."

The Food Lion Family banners and Bloom regional winners were:

Food Lion, northeastern market

  • Region 1: Dan Vaughan, Store 1321, Millville, Del.;

  • Region 2: Ted Seidenberg, Store 1683, Hagerstown, Md.;

  • Region 3: John Haddox, Store 2525, Ruther Glen, Va.;

  • Region 4: Jeremy Powell (northeastern market winner), Store 1081, Covington, Va.; and

  • Region 5: Bryan A. Bowen, Store 2573, Blacksburg, Va.

 Food Lion, mid-Atlantic market

  • Region 1: Jimmy Chatman, Store 1569, Thomasville, N.C.;

  • Region 2: Charles Inman, Store 2197, Clayton, N.C.;

  • Region 3: Michael Buschagen (mid-Atlantic market winner), Store 894, Burlington, N.C.;

  • Region 4: Steve Williams, Store 839, Portsmouth, Va.; and

  • Region 5: James Consendine, Store 1333, Virginia Beach, Va.

 Food Lion, southwestern market 

  • Region 1: Terry Blick, Store 1473, Clarksville, Tenn.;

  • Region 2: Chris Spears, Store 2592, Boone, N.C.;

  • Region 3: Eldrick Stovall (southwestern market winner), Store 748 Charlotte, N.C.; and

  • Region 4: Ronnie Catledge, Store 928 Chester, S.C.

Food Lion, southeastern market

  • Region 1: Scott Brinson (southeastern market winner, 2010 store manager of the year), Store 1494, Jacksonville, N.C.;

  • Region 2: James R. Fain, Store 1373, Greenville, N.C.;

  • Region 3: David Wilson, Store 2124, Ladson, S.C.; and

  • Region 4: Stephanie Marshall, Store 1245, Macon, Ga.

Bloom

  • Region 1: John Henley, Store 2760, Mooresville, N.C.; and

  • Region 2: Clinton Smith, Store 2745, 2732, 2740, Locust Grove, Va.

Harveys 

  • Glenn Giddens, Store 2384, Tifton, Ga.

Reid’s

  • Byron Green, Store 677, New Ellington, S.C.

The Food Lion Family, based in Salisbury, N.C., operates more than 1,300 supermarkets, either directly or through affiliated entities, under the Food Lion, Bloom, Harveys or Reid’s names.

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