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Costco ramps up online initiatives

BY Antoinette Alexander

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — During Costco’s quarterly conference call this week with analysts, the company touched upon some online tests underway as the online shipping battle among retailers continues to intensify.

“I mentioned before the Google test, Google Shopping Express in the Bay Area more recently in last several weeks. It's been tested in Los Angeles with some retailers, not just us, but in Los Angeles at our Culver City location and in Manhattan at our Manhattan location. And those are — both those two cities are just in the last four to six weeks,” Richard Galanti, Costco CFO, told analysts during Thursday’s conference call to discuss third-quarter results.

As previously reported, Google Shopping Express, strives to make same-day deliveries from Fairway, Walgreens, Target, Costco and other retailers to anyplace in Manhattan for $4.99 per store. That service first launched in San Francisco last year, will expand to Brooklyn and Queens in the coming months.

Galanti added that it is also testing membership signups via social media initiatives with LivingSocial and Zulily.

 

 

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CHSU receives donation from Walgreens for pharmacy lab

BY Ryan Chavis

CLOVIS, Calif. — California Health Sciences University on Wednesday announced that it received $75,000 from Walgreens in support of the institution’s pharmacy practice laboratory.

The University’s new "Walgreens Pharmacy Practice Lab" will provide pharmacy students with necessary training and will allow students to learn how to provide primary care in tandem with physicians to help alleviate the primary healthcare professional shortage in the region.

“CHSU College of Pharmacy students will learn how to perform physical assessments and will treat patients under the supervision of our faculty,” stated Dr. David Hawkins, dean of pharmacy. “Walgreens is one of the leaders in the industry in creating patient exam areas in their pharmacies and expanding the scope of pharmacists to meet healthcare provider shortages. We greatly appreciate the support from Walgreens, which will allow us to build five exam rooms and a patient waiting room in our Pharmacy Practice Lab, in addition to a compounding lab and sterile compounding lab, so our students will receive advanced training not typically provided at other pharmacy schools.”

CHSU is currently accepting applications for its Doctor of Pharmacy program, which is set to begin in August 2014. Construction of the new lab will begin next month, with a completion date set in early August before the start of classes.

 

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Consumer spending experiences slump in April

BY Dan Berthiaume

WASHINGTON — U.S. consumer spending fell by $8.1 billion, or 0.1%, in April 2014. It was the first monthly decline in consumer spending since April 2013 and followed a 1% increase of $117.6 billion the previous month.

“Despite hopes of pent-up demand driving consumption and overall growth through the second quarter — and the second half — it appears after just two months any lingering demand for goods left over from the winter months at the start of the year has since been satisfied,” said Sterne Agee chief economist Lindsey Piegza. “Going forward, in order to maintain momentum in spending, there must be sustainable job and income growth. Meaning it will take more than a hefty increase in the jobs number, but an increase in the quality of jobs is needed as well to create wage pressures, which at the moment remain virtually nonexistent.”

Prices are climbing as spending drops. Consumer prices rose 0.2% month-over-month and 1.6% year-over-year in April, the largest year-over-year increase since November 2012 and second consecutive month-over-month gain on 0.2%. Price increases remain below a 2% target set by the Federal Reserve.

Personal income also is on the rise, growing 0.3% in April. Higher incomes and lower spending pushed the personal saving rate to 4% in April from 3.6% in March.

 

 

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