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Walgreens Flu Index identifies top 3 states with flu, and 2 states where flu is gaining

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Oklahoma, Texas and Mississippi are experiencing the greatest amount of flu activity, though the greatest gains in flu activity happened in Tennessee and North Carolina, according to the latest Walgreens Flu Index for the week of Feb. 12.

This week, the top 10 markets relative to flu activity are:

  1. Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, Texas;
  2. Corpus Christi, Texas;
  3. Oklahoma City;
  4. Tyler-Longview (Lufkin & Nacogdoches), Texas;
  5. Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas;
  6. Ft. Smith-Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, Ark.;
  7. Chattanooga, Tenn.;
  8. Tulsa, Okla.;
  9. Greenville-New Bern-Washington, N.C.; and
  10. Lafayette, La.

For the week of Feb. 12, the top 10 markets in terms of flu activity gains are:

  1. Chattanooga, Tenn.;
  2. Greenville-New Bern-Washington, N.C.;
  3. Cedar Rapids-Waterloo-Iowa City & Dubuque, Iowa;
  4. Tri-Cities, Tenn.-Va.;
  5. San Antonio;
  6. Oklahoma City;
  7. Greensboro-High Point-Winston Salem, N.C.;
  8. Raleigh-Durham (Fayetteville), N.C.;
  9. Ft. Smith-Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, Ark.; and
  10. Shreveport, La.

The Walgreens Flu Index is a weekly report developed to provide state- and market-specific information regarding flu activity, and ranking of those experiencing the highest incidences of influenza across the country.

The Flu Index shows which populations are experiencing the most incidences of influenza each week based on Index methodology. The data does not measure actual levels or severity of flu activity. The data is analyzed at state and geographic market levels to measure absolute impact and incremental change of antiviral medications on a per store average basis, and does not include markets in which Walgreens has fewer than 10 retail locations.

 

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Walgreens Boots Alliance chief merchandising officer to depart

BY DSN STAFF

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Linda Filler, Walgreens Boots Alliance president retail products and chief merchandising and marketing officer, will be departing the retailer effective April 1.

"We appreciate Linda’s contributions to our company.  Under her leadership, we have created a clear plan to accelerate our progress in retail products and we’re seeing market-share growth and improvement in customer satisfaction," Michael Polzin, divisional VP corporate communications at Walgreens Boots, shared in an emailed statement. "Linda has agreed to act in a strategic advisory capacity to us beyond this date. In addition, she has plans to accept a second public company board role and to devote more time to her family."

Regarding the chief merchant role, "we are working on how these important areas of our business will be led in the future and will follow up with further announcements over the next few weeks," Polzin noted.

 

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NRF: Retailers had a good January

BY Marianne Wilson
Retail sales sizzled in January, beating expectations. Even the struggling department store sector managed to beat the odds.
 
Retail sales, excluding automobiles and gasoline, grew 0.4% in January, according to the National Retail Federation. (The numbers exclude automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants)
 
“The healthy monthly gain was driven by January’s strong payroll gains, retail employment gains and business sentiment,” NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “We haven’t seen strong January growth in several years, which indicates that consumers are increasing their spending and remain the leading driver of the economy.” 
     
Every major retail sector tracked by the NRF reported higher sales compared to the previous month, with the exception of furniture/home furnishings stores, whose sales were flat.
    
Sales at electronics and appliances stores rose 1.6% the biggest increase in a year and a half.
 
Sales at clothing stores increased 1.0%, the largest rise in nearly a year. Department store sales climbed 1.2%, the biggest increase since December 2015.
 
Sporting goods stores’ sales increased 1.8%, and sales at health and personal care stores increased 0.7%.  
 
Despite the nearly across-the-board increases, Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, sounded a somewhat cautious note.
 
“We believe that the year ahead will be a reasonable one for retail, and nothing in this month’s numbers changes that assessment,” he said. “However, growth will undoubtedly be variable across 2017, and it remains insufficient to benefit all players.”
 
The environment will continue to be one of winners and losers. 

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