Costco halts home furnishing store experiment
ISSAQUAH, Wash. Costco Wholesale Corp. will close its two Costco Home stores, the retailer announced Thursday.
The company will close the stores, in Kirkland, Wash., and Tempe, Ariz., on July 3.
“Costco Home has been a valuable experiment for us,” CEO Jim Sinegal stated. “We provided a competitive home furnishings alternative to our members in two locations and learned a great deal about home furnishings in the process. The current economic slowdown and resulting weakness in the home furnishings business inparticular have led us to conclude that the single-format Costco Home concept does not fit into our long-term expansion plans.”
Employees at the two stores will be offered opportunities to work at Costco warehouses, the company said.
Take Care Health Systems to offer ‘recovery plan’ for unemployed patients
The announcement by Take Care Health Systems that it is offering free health services at its clinics throughout the rest of the year for those who lose their jobs couldn’t have come at a more critical time.
In fact, the numbers just came in, and it doesn’t look good. The nation’s unemployment rate rose to 8.5% in March, the highest since late 1983. And, as we all know, the loss of a job too often means the loss of health benefits.
With its high quality care, convenient locations and flexible hours, retail clinic operators like Take Care Health Systems are in an ideal position to help patients get through this tough economic time. Not only does the program help keep unemployed patients healthy but it also will drive clinic traffic and awareness and further underscore the important role these clinics play in the overall U.S. healthcare system.
It is a tactic that a few other industries have already taken, namely the automobile industry with some dealerships offering to cover car payments for those customers who find themselves laid off. No doubt this is an enticing offer from participating car dealerships, but the reality is that nothing surpasses one’s health and the health of their family; so why not extend such a concept to the healthcare arena?
As Greg Wasson, Walgreens president, CEO, stated in the article, “Walgreens and Take Care Health Systems will not stand idly by as individuals are forced by the hardships of the economy to choose among basic necessities, such as health care, housing and food. Quality, accessible and affordable care should be the right of every individual.”
While it isn’t as extensive as Take Care Health Systems’ “Take Care Recovery Plan,” nor is it geared specifically toward those patients who have lost their job, The Little Clinic is offering free health screenings and assessments throughout the year at its clinic locations.
As previously reported by Drug Store News, each month The Little Clinic will focus on specific health observances (i.e. National Nutrition Month in March) and will offer related free health screenings and assessments throughout the year.
Hal Rosenbluth, president of Walgreens Health and Wellness division and chairman of Take Care Health Systems, said that a family?s healthcare needs shouldn?t take a backseat to the economy.
Fortunately, with programs such as the “Take Care Recovery Plan,” patients can put themselves back in the driver’s seat.
Rite Aid to close Ga. distribution center
CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid on Thursday announced that it is closing its distribution center in Newnan, Ga. in late September.
“We have an excellent and dedicated workforce at the distribution center in Newnan, and they did an outstanding job during the integration of the Brooks/Eckerd drug store chain into Rite Aid,” stated Wilson Lester, Jr., Rite Aid SVP supply chain. “This closing has no reflection on them or the quality of their work, and we will do everything we can to assist them with finding new positions.”
Rite Aid acquired the Newnan facility in June 2007 with its purchase of approximately 1,800 Brooks Eckerd stores and six distribution centers. The company reported at the time of the acquisition that once all of the Brooks/Eckerd stores were integrated into Rite Aid, it would look for opportunities to consolidate the distribution activities of its 14 distribution centers. The decision to close the Newnan facility is also part of Rite Aid’s initiative to improve operational efficiency throughout the company.
The 194 stores served by the Newnan distribution center will be served by other Rite Aid distribution centers.