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Tiffany smells growth with Coty fragrance deal

BY Gina Acosta

Tiffany & Co. has come up with a new way to showcase its brand and it has nothing to do with jewelry.

The retailer announced it has entered into an agreement with Coty for the development, production and distribution of a new line of Tiffany fragrances for both women and men, to be sold at Tiffany & Co. stores as well as at other select luxury retailers.

“Tiffany is among the world’s most important houses of luxury, and fragrances are an important expression of the brand,” said Frédéric Cumenal, chief executive officer of Tiffany & Co. “We are pleased to work with Coty, an industry leader in the prestige fragrance category, on the development of a more meaningful fragrance portfolio through this licensing agreement.”

Experts say the global fragrances and perfumes market is expected to experience positive growth through 2019, with a compound annual growth rate of 2%.

“Tiffany’s luxury heritage lends itself perfectly to Coty’s prestige fragrance portfolio,” said Bart Becht, chairman and interim chief executive officer, Coty. “We look forward to bringing Coty’s unique expertise to Tiffany by establishing a strong fragrance business for the brand.”

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Treato: Patients still prefer brand-name statins

BY David Salazar

NEW YORK — Consumer health care website Treato on Wednesday released its first ranking of statins based on customer satisfaction. The ranking shows that, despite widespread availability of generics for popular brand-name statins, patient satisfaction is higher with brand-name drugs.
 
The ranking was created by creating overall scores based on the ratio of positive to negative medication reviews online by using TreatoVoice, which identifies and ranks patient experience base on their online postings. The top branded statin, with an overall satisfaction score of 2.4 out of 5, was Merck’s Vytorin, which before insurance co-pays and discounts costs $233.53 for a 30-day suppy, according to OneRx. The top generic statin was lovastatin, a generic of Merck’s Mevacor, which costs $4.69 for a 30-day supply before co-pays and discounts, according to OneRx. 
 
The idea behind the rankings is to allow patients to make informed choices about their health care. 
 
“By ranking consumers' experiences of their satisfaction with statins, we hope to empower individuals with information based on the experiences of other patients,” Treato CEO Ido Hadari said. “We want patients to be more confident in their discussions with their doctor when picking a statin to meet their needs.”

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Walgreens Boots Alliance outlines 3 growth initiatives at shareholders meeting

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Walgreens Boots Alliance this year moved its annual shareholder's meeting from the Windy City to the snow-ridden streets of Manhattan, approving three proposals made by the board, reviewing the company's recent events and looking ahead to the future. 
 
There were three initiatives that emerged from the Walgreens Boots Alliance annual shareholder meeting held here this morning, all of which executives said would help deliver a banner year for Walgreens in 2016. 
 
1. Rite Aid acquisition
Walgreens Boots Alliance is about to become a whole lot bigger. Today, their network serves almost 6 million consumers on a daily basis, filling almost 1 billion prescriptions annually in the process. That market penetration will grow considerably if the Rite Aid deal gets done — and judging from the comments made by WBA executives, they are confident the Rite Aid deal will get done in the second half of 2016.
 
“The acquisition will go a long way to help fill the gaps in our geographical coverage in the U.S. in one step,” Stefano Pessina, Walgreens Boots Alliance executive vice chairman and CEO, said. “The addition of rite aid to our network offers the potential for significant cost savings and purchasing efficiencies in addition to opportunities in terms of important market penetration for our owned and exclusive portfolio," Pessina added. "We are currently going through the regulatory process … for this transaction. So far, this process is proceeding as we had anticipated and we continue to expect the transaction will complete at some point in the second half of this calendar year.”
 
2. Valeant Pharmaceuticals partnership
The company's partnership with Valeant Pharmaceuticals, inked in December, is expected to drive increased value to not only the bottom line of Walgreens Boots Alliance but also drive value to healthcare payers. As part of that deal, Valeant will offer its branded dermatology and ophthalmology products at a reduced cost to the consumer.
 
“This partnership … is a demonstration of how partnerships can create value while reducing costs for the system as a whole,” Pessina said. “Over time, such novel and collaborative initiatives have the potential to deliver significant benefit.”
 
3. Boots’ beauty proposition
Finally, Walgreens Boots Alliance is very much looking to take a page out of its Boots playbook by transforming Walgreens (and soon Rite Aid) into must-visit destination centers for WBA's owned beauty brands. 
 
This summer, expect to see WBA's Boots brands like No7 and Soap & Glory in almost 2,000 stores as part of the company's iniative "Beauty 2000." "Really our mission here is to make Walgreens a beauty destination for the American consumer," explained Ken Murphy, EVP and president global brands WBA. 
 
WBA us also working on a pilot merchandising package across 13 Houston stores called “Beauty Evolution.”
 
“We have transformed the entire beauty department of the store to really change the experience of the consumer within Walgreens, and that's under the Boots banner within the store,” Murphy said. “It's a learning experience [and] we've learned a huge amount. We've had a fantastic customer reaction to it, but it's also very expensive intervention.”
 
As for the meeting, which lasted 45 minutes, the three shareholder proposals outlined in the 2016 Proxy Statement were overwhelmingly supported by shareholders. Shareholders elected 11 directors to hold office until the next annual meeting of stockholders or until their successors are elected and qualified (98% of shareholders supported this measure); approved on an advisory basis the compensation of the named executive officers (97.4% of shareholders approved); and ratified Deloitte & Touche as the company’s independent registered public accounting firm for the fiscal year ending August 31, 2016 (98.9% of shareholders).
 
Top of mind among shareholders was the company's decision to keep tobacco products on store shelves — the first two questions to come from shareholders revolved around this issue. EVP WBA and Walgreens president Alex Gourlay reiterated Walgreens position that they are very much positioning their pharmacies as smoking cessation destinations but are not yet considering the removal of tobacco products from store shelves. 

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