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StoreBoard Media adds Kerr Drug to growing list

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Kerr Drug has become the latest retail pharmacy chain to adopt StoreBoard Media’s security pedestal advertisements, StoreBoard announced June 24.

Known as EyeCurve, the patent-pending billboards are on security pedestals near the entrances of more than 13,000 stores nationwide.

“Kerr Drug is a major regional chain that has worked hard to maintain its community pharmacy heritage,” StoreBoard chief executive officer Douglas Leeds said. “Kerr’s unique bond with its customers offers our advertisers a fantastic environment to convey their branding messages.”

Kerr operates more than 100 stores in North and South Carolina. Its headquarters is in Raleigh, N.C.

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Rite Aid completes refinancing

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid on Wednesday reported that it has completed its previously announced refinancing that includes a new $350 million senior secured term loan due in 2014 and $470 million of new 10.375 percent senior secured notes due in 2016.

The retail pharmacy chain said it used the proceeds from the refinancing to fund tender offers and consent solicitations of the company’s 8.125 percent senior secured notes due in 2010, 9.25 percent senior notes due in 2013 and 7.5 percent senior secured notes due in 2015.

“This refinancing gives us greater flexibility to support our business plans in an environment that includes worries about a lengthy recession and continued uncertainty of the capital markets,” stated Mary Sammons, Rite Aid chairman, president and chief executive officer.

Rite Aid announced that approximately $348.9 million aggregate principal amount of its 8.125 percent senior secured notes due 2010 (96.9 percent of the total outstanding), approximately $144 million of its 9.25 percent senior notes due 2013 (95.9 percent) and approximately $199.6 million aggregate principal amount of its 7.5 percent senior secured notes due 2015 (99.7 percent) have been tendered and accepted for payment.

Rite Aid also delivered notice that it has called for redemption and discharge of all remaining 2015 notes.

The refinancing increases interest expense by approximately $5 million and increases loss due to debt modifications and retirements by approximately $35 million. As a result, the company adjusted its fiscal forecast to be a net loss between $300 million and $415 million and diluted loss per share between $.39 and $.52 per share as compared to previous guidance of a net loss of between $260 million and $375 million or a loss per diluted share of $.34 to $.48.

The company said that charges from the refinancing had no impact on its previously announced sales, same-store sales and adjusted EBITDA guidance.

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Wal-Mart Stores June net sales up 11.5 percent

BY DSN STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. Wal-Mart Stores reported that total company net sales for the fiscal month of June grew 11.5 percent to $39.9 billion from $35.8 billion for the same period last year.

The company reported total U.S. comparable-store sales growth of 5.8 percent (excluding fuel) for June, last year’s June comps (excluding fuel) rose 2.4 percent.

 

For its U.S. division, Wal-Mart reported strong sales growth in entertainment, swimwear and sportswear. Sales at Sam’s Club were strong in fresh foods, dry grocery and consumables, and soft in house wares and jewelry.

International sales for June were strongest in the United Kingdom, Brazil and China, the company reported.

 

“Our estimate for U.S. comparable-store sales, excluding fuel, for the July four-week period is between two and four percent,” said Tom Schoewe, evp and cfo. “The Wal-Mart U.S. underlying business remains strong. However, consumers and small business owners remain concerned about the economy, inflation and most of all, higher gas prices. With the last large mailing of economic stimulus checks due this Friday [July 11], it is difficult to forecast the benefit from the economic stimulus through the remainder of the year.

“Because of our improved sales results during the quarter, we have updated our guidance estimate for earnings per share for the second quarter of fiscal year 2009 to a range of 82 cents to 84 cents,” Schoewe said.

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