RETAIL NEWS

Stater Bros. is closing all of its pharmacies

BY Seth Mendelson

In what some say may be another warning sign to retailers who do not have enough pull in the pharmacy business, Stater Bros. Markets announced that it is closing all 22 of its SuperRx pharmacy locations and expects to transfer the pharmacy records and inventory to nearby CVS Pharmacy locations later this month.

In a press release today, the company said that by Sept. 28, all SuperRx pharmacy locations are expected to be closed. The company noted that Stater Bros. and CVS Pharmacy are working together to ensure that the transition will be seamless for patients and that their access to pharmacy care is not interrupted. CVS Pharmacy plans to interview many of the SuperRx employees currently working at these locations.

Industry officials have long said that the changing economics of the pharmacy business, with higher costs and more government interaction and legislation, is making it harder for small pharmacy operations to compete. In many cases, including at Stater Bros., the vacated space if often given to high-margin food categories, including produce, specialty meals and other fresh sections.

The press release said that Stater Bros. is going to be taking the space used by the vacated pharmacy operations and giving it to food-related sections of the store to “better serve the needs” of its shoppers. Overall in-store operations will remain intact during the space conversion process.

“I’d like to emphasize that Stater Bros. is a strong and competitive company within the Southern California supermarket landscape poised for continued growth. This business decision will allow the Company to grow areas of our core food business that meet the evolving food needs and shifting grocery preferences of our customers. We remain committed to providing our valued customers with the very best grocery shopping experience,” stated Stater Bros. CEO Pete Van Helden.

“I’d also like to thank our loyal customers for all of their support of Stater Bros. SuperRx Pharmacies. CVS Pharmacy provides a wide range of pharmaceutical services and programs to help millions of people across America lead healthier lives, and we’re confident CVS will provide SuperRx customers with the resources and services needed to continue their healthcare regimen,” Van Helden continued.

“CVS Pharmacy is committed to providing high-quality and personalized care to patients and we look forward to bringing our innovative pharmacy care programs and services to SuperRx customers,” said Hank Casillas, Division Vice President, CVS Pharmacy. “We’re confident that SuperRx patients will be excited about our unique clinical pharmacy services, medication adherence programs, automatic refills, and the many innovative digital tools we offer to help patients manage their prescriptions.”

“Most importantly, I’m proud of the fantastic job our SuperRx Pharmacy Team has done in taking excellent care of our customer’s healthcare and pharmaceutical needs. We have great people and protecting their livelihood was a priority,” Van Helden continued. “Stater Bros. will offer all SuperRx pharmacists and pharmacy technicians continued pay and benefits for a period of time,” Van Helden concluded.

The SuperRx pharmacy locations listed below will close and all prescription files will be transferred to a nearby CVS Pharmacy location. Stater Bros. SuperRx customers will be notified of their prescription transfer dates via mail.

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Food Lion’s bagged apples campaign provides meals to those in need

BY DSN STAFF

Food Lion is doing its part to help the community.

The Salisbury, N.C.-based retailer is partnering with customers to help do its part to help end hunger. To do this, the company is launching specially-marked Food Lion Feeds bagged apples, and through its sales donate meals to local food banks in partnership with Feeding America.

Each of the bags will maintain a retail price of $2.99 throughout the campaign, which is set to begin on Oct. 2.

This marks the fifth year the bagged apple campaign will help provide more than one million meals to families facing hunger in local communities across its 10-state footprint, the company said.

Through its Food Lion Feeds initiative, the company has made a commitment to provide 500 million meals to individuals and families in need by the end of 2020.

Since the program’s inception in 2014, the retailer has donated more than 402 million meals through in-store campaigns, in-store food rescue programs and associate volunteerism.

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CVS Health helps East Coast customers prepare for Hurricane Florence

BY Sandra Levy

In anticipation of Hurricance Florence, CVS Health is instituting several measures to ensure that patients get their medication. The company said it will issue a number of advisories to help customers and patients prepare as Hurricane Florence approaches the East Coast.

“The health and safety of our customers, patients and colleagues are most important to us,” CVS Health executive vice president and CVS Pharmacy president Kevin Hourican said. “In light of weather advisories and local warnings in effect in North and South Carolina, we’re working hard to ensure that our customers have the medications they need to ride out the storm safely.”

CVS Health is using text messages and email where possible to remind patients to refill prescriptions in advance of Hurricane Florence. Through CVS Caremark, CVS Health’s pharmacy benefit manager, the company has activated a process that allows it to provide one-time emergency refills of a 10-day supply of medication for plan members in impacted areas.

Several CVS Pharmacy locations in areas with mandatory evacuation orders will be closed until it is deemed safe to re-open. Customers from impacted evacuation areas that need prescription refills can go to any open CVS Pharmacy location outside of the evacuation zone.

CVS Health also suggests that patients take a waterproof bag with their current medication, even if the bottle is empty. The information on the prescription label will help pharmacy staff with refill requests. Heat, humidity and sunlight can degrade the effectiveness of medicine, therefore CVS urges patients to try to protect them from extreme weather conditions.

CVS Health also urges patients to keep a written record of current prescriptions in valuable papers files. If you are taking several prescription drugs, it’s an especially good idea to keep a record of your current dosage and doctor’s contact information.

Stores are stocked with such emergency items as bottled water, batteries, flashlights and first aid supplies. In the last 10 years, CVS Health and the CVS Health Foundation have donated more than $11 million in cash and in-kind donations in response to disaster events.

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