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Walmart kicks off holiday toy layaway program

BY Marianne Wilson

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart announced its Top 20 Toy List for the upcoming holidays and said the items now are available at Walmart stores in time for the retailer’s layaway program, which launches this Sunday.

In a social media tie-in, customers who "like" their local Walmart store’s Facebook page can begin using the service immediately.

The discounter also said that if a customer puts a toy on layaway and Walmart rolls back the price later in the season, the chain will honor the rolled-back price if it is in effect at the time of final payment. Walmart also will match competitor pricing during checkout for layaway products through its ad match policy. Customers will be able to pick up their toys once they complete their layaway payments. Once completed, customers will receive a full refund of the $5 layaway open fee on a Walmart gift card.

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August retail sales see modest boost

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON — U.S. retail sales in August reflected a solid back-to-school season.

The Census Bureau announced that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for August, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $403.9 billion, an increase of 0.9% from the previous month and 4.7% above August 2011. Retail trade sales were up 0.9% from July and 4.4% above last year.

Looking across retail categories, adjusted sales at grocery stores during the month were flat at $47.3 billion. Health and personal care stores saw a slight gain of nearly 0.2% to $23 billion. Retail sales for drug stores and pharmacies were not recorded; however, sales experienced an increase from June to July (to $19 billion). General merchandise stores’ sales decreased 0.3%.

Commenting on the results, the National Retail Federation said the retail industry "continues to demonstrate its strength and resiliency during this fragile economic time."

"Consumers and retail companies continue to face many questions and challenges, from stubbornly high unemployment and stagnant incomes to depressed housing prices and the looming fiscal cliff, all playing into overall economic uncertainty and declining consumer confidence," NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said.

NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz added, "While retailers continue to witness sustained sales growth, consumers remain cautious about their discretionary expenditures,. Consumers have carried much of the growth during the economic recovery, despite high food and gas costs. Though the economy isn’t backsliding, growth continues to be a sore point."

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A.GRONDIN says:
Sep-17-2012 06:36 am

Consumers and retail companies continue to face many questions and challenges, from stubbornly high unemployment and stagnant incomes to depressed housing prices and the looming fiscal cliff

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Impax, Teva settle with J&J, Alza over generic ADHD drug

BY Alaric DeArment

HAYWARD, Calif. — Two generic drug makers have settled with a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson and another company concerning a drug used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Impax Labs and Teva Pharmaceuticals USA had settled a patent infringement suit with Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Alza over Concerta (methylphenidate hydrochloride) extended-release tablets in the 18-mg, 27-mg, 36-mg and 54-mg strengths.

Under the agreement, Impax and Teva will be licensed to sell generic versions of the drug starting July 14, 2013. The two companies are pursuing a strategic alliance agreement with regard to the drug.

Branded and generic versions of Concerta had sales of about $1.2 billion during the 12-month period ended in July, according to Wolters Kluwer Health.


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