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Walgreens opens first store in the U.S. Virgin Islands

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Saturday opened its first drug store on St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. U.S.V.I. Gov. John  deJongh helped cut the ribbon and open the doors, the Chicago-based retailer reported.

Located across from the Tutu Park Mall, the 18,000-square-foot store features the company’s new “Well Experience” format, where every aspect of the store focuses on the idea of making people well. At its core is the pharmacy where the pharmacist spends more time out from behind the counter to provide counseling to patients and answer questions.

Store management celebrated opening day by inviting the community to enjoy ice cream tastings, beverages, entertainment and a raffle for a bicycle. Walgreens also presented two $2,500 charitable contributions, one to the local chapter of United Way, and a second to the Caribbean Exploratory Research Center at the University of the Virgin Islands.   

The new store offers express pickup for prescription medications ordered ahead of time, and a 2-lane drive thru pharmacy window. The store also features an enhanced beauty and cosmetics selection including a nail bar with a wide selection of nail polishes and related products.


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Rolaids to once again spell relief for heartburn remedy sets

BY Michael Johnsen

PARIS — Sanofi US and its consumer health business Chattem on Monday unveiled plans to re-introduce the iconic Rolaids heartburn-relief brand to the U.S. market. The brand returns after a three-year hiatus in the marketplace and follows Chattem’s acquisition of Rolaids earlier this year.  

"For the last few years there has been a significant gap in the over-the-counter antacid marketplace here in the U.S.," stated Zan Guerry, CEO Chattem. "Starting today, the millions of people who suffer from frequent heartburn and acid indigestion can once again turn to Rolaids to help relieve their symptoms."

"Incorporating Rolaids into Chattem’s portfolio further strengthens Sanofi’s position as a leader in the U.S. consumer healthcare sector and helps to further diversify our category offerings," added Anne Whitaker, president, North America Pharmaceuticals, Sanofi.  

Chattem will support the re-launch of Rolaids with a fully integrated marketing campaign featuring chef and restaurateur Guy Fieri. The campaign includes national television spots that include Fieri and re-establishes one of the more recognizable advertising taglines — "How Do You Spell Relief? R-O-L-A-I-D-S." 

Chattem completed the acquisition of the worldwide rights to the Rolaids brand from McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division on Jan. 7, 2013.


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NRF: August retail sales disappoint with tepid 0.1% increase from July

BY Marianne Wilson

WASHINGTON — According to the National Retail Federation, retail sales increased in the month of August, but came in at a much slower pace than had been anticipated.

According to data released Friday by the U.S. Census Bureau, total retail and food services sales (which include non-general merchandise categories such as automobiles, gasoline stations, and restaurants) in August increased 0.2% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and increased 4.7% adjusted year-over-year.

“Retail sales gains continue to be tepid,” said NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz. “Retail sales and employment, while measurably positive, have been disappointing over the last few months, and have been difficult to reconcile with consumer confidence. The data suggests that consumers remain cautious with their pocketbooks and purchases.”

Other findings from the August retail sales report include:

  • Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers stores’ sales decreased 0.9% seasonally adjusted yet increased 5.7% unadjusted year-over-year.

  • Clothing and clothing accessories stores’ sales decreased 0.8% seasonally adjusted month-to-month yet increased 4.6% unadjusted year-over-year.

  • Health and personal care stores’ sales increased 0.6% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and increased 3.0% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Electronics and appliance stores’ sales increased 0.8% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 3.1% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Furniture and home furnishing stores’ sales increased 0.9% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 4.9% unadjusted year-over-year.

  • General merchandise stores’ sales decreased 0.2% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month yet increased 0.4% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Non-store retailers’ sales increased 0.5% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and increased 8.8% unadjusted year-over-year.

  • Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores’ sales decreased 0.5% seasonally adjusted month-to-month yet increased 3.7% unadjusted year-over-year.

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