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Costco: Q3 earnings affected by gas prices, dollar value

BY Alaric DeArment

ISSAQUAH, Wash. The increase in the value of the dollar and a decrease in gas prices pushed Costco’s global net sales down by 7% for third quarter 2009 and by 3% for all of fiscal 2009, according to an earnings report the mass merchandiser released Thursday.

The retailer said net sales in the United States declined by 5%, to $15.48 billion, from $16.26 billion during third quarter 2008; and by 1% for the first 36 weeks of fiscal 2009, to $48 billion, from $48.35 billion during the same period last year. International sales declined more: 12% for the third quarter and by 10% for the first 36 weeks of fiscal 2009.

When not counting gas price deflation, U.S. sales were flat for the third quarter and increased by 2% for the whole fiscal year. International sales increased by 8% during both periods when not counting foreign exchange rates.

In a statement, Costco CFO Richard Galanti also attributed the sales decline to litigation over membership renewal, higher employee benefits costs and ongoing weakness in sales, particularly of big-ticket items.

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CVS/pharmacy implements new coupon center

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS/pharmacy has implemented a new coupon center on its Web site that enables shoppers to compile their coupons, browse specific categories and even share the savings with friends and family by sending e-mail alerts.

“Millions of Americans turn to CVS.com for health-and-wellness information, prescription management tools and an unparalleled shopping experience,” stated Helena Foulkes, EVP and chief marketing officer for CVS Caremark. “Yet as more of our customers have been searching for quick and simple ways to cut costs on health care and everyday purchases, it has become an important goal for us to add features to CVS.com that meet this need. We are excited to unveil the CVS.com ‘Clip and Print’ Coupon Center and help make coupon-clipping a hassle-free experience for our customers.”

The new “Clip and Print” Coupon Center features coupons for everything from household items and snacks to health and beauty needs. Shoppers can browse through specific product categories, as well as local savings offers by entering an appropriate ZIP code. Both general manufacturer’s coupons and CVS-exclusive offers are included in the center. Shoppers can also share the savings with friends and family by clicking the “Spread the Word” button found next to each coupon offer.

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Walgreens continues expansion in Hawaii

BY Drug Store News Team

DEERFIELD, Ill. Hawaii will welcome its fourth Walgreens this Sunday in Kailua located in windward Oahu.

The Kailua location will be the Deerfield, Ill.-based company’s second grand opening in windward Oahu after the neighboring Kaneohe store opened in late 2008.

The new location will be smaller than a typical full-service store, though the addition of a drive-through pharmacy and Kailua’s recognizable location as a center of commerce and tourism drives excitement from company officials.

Plans have been made to open 25 to 30 more stores in Hawaii.

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