Amid customer complaints, Walmart cuts layaway fee
BENTONVILLE, Ark. — After announcing it would move up its layaway program for the holiday season to mid-September, Walmart said it also would reduce the program fee from $15 to $5.
"This is a direct response to feedback we received since announcing this year’s holiday layaway program," said Duncan Mac Naughton, Walmart’s chief merchandising and marketing officer. "Customers who make their final payment will receive a refund of the $5 fee on a Walmart gift card. We believe this rollback strengthens our layaway offering. It’s even more attractive to our customers and makes Walmart more competitive in the marketplace."
Other terms of Walmart’s program are comparable with last year, such as a requirement for a down payment of $10 or 10% of the purchase price, whichever is greater, but the company no longer collects a cancellation fee of $10, as was the case last year.
At Walmart, the list of merchandise categories was expanded this year after the program was reinstituted last holiday season. Walmart has added small appliances and select sporting goods such as basketball goals, trampolines and large exercise equipment to electronics, toys and jewelry as categories eligible for layaway.
FDA delays action on Salix drug
RALEIGH, N.C. — The Food and Drug Administration will not decide whether to approve a drug for diarrhea in HIV patients as it continues to review the regulatory approval application for it, the drug’s manufacturer said.
Salix Pharmaceuticals said the FDA was still reviewing its application for crofelemer in the 125-mg strength. The agency was originally expected to take action on the drug Wednesday. Crofelemer is meant for treating noninfectious diarrhea in HIV and AIDS patients taking antiretroviral therapy.
"By taking no action at this time, the FDA has allowed for the currently ongoing dialogue between Salix and the FDA to continue," Salix EVP medical and research and development and chief development officer Bill Forbes said. "The continuing dialogue should allow further collaboration between us and the agency, a collaboration that has resulted in substantial progress in handling topics important to crofelemer as well as to botanical products in general."
Supervalu’s Cub Foods kicks off Hunger Action Month food drive
STILLWATER, Minn. — Supervalu banner Cub Foods, KSTP-TV, MOM Brands, Dr Pepper Snapple Group and Dean Foods on Tuesday announced a partnership to sponsor the Hunger Action Month food drive under the banner "Give a Little, Feed a Lot" during September at all Cub Foods stores in Minnesota.
To officially celebrate the start of Hunger Action Month, the Cub Foods store in Shorewood, Minn., will host a "Dash for Hunger" supermarket race between local dignitaries on Sept. 6 at noon. Participants will race around the store pushing grocery carts and collecting nonperishable food. With only three minutes on the clock, the goal is to collect as much product to benefit families who rely upon the Intercongregational Communities Association Food Shelf for assistance. Cub Foods will donate the equivalent dollar amount of groceries, with two local Rotary clubs matching Cub’s donation dollar for dollar.
Dr Pepper Snapple Group is serving as a primary sponsor of Hunger Action Month. As part of this effort, they are donating $25,000 to Second Harvest Heartland to help families in need.
All proceeds will benefit Second Harvest Heartland and Minnesota’s Feeding America Food Banks, including Channel One Food Bank and Food Shelf, Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank and Second Harvest North Central Food Bank, as well as dozens of local food shelves.
Cub Foods customers and Minnesota residents can support the cause in one of two ways: by purchasing any dry packaged food or a "Community Cupboard Bag" that is already filled with a complete meal and placing it in the specially marked donation bin in the store, or by rounding up their grocery bill to the nearest dollar at the checkout register and donating the change. All food bin donations will benefit local food shelves, and customer cash donations will go to Second Harvest Heartland.