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CVS Caremark snaps up Kerr Drug stores in Charleston

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark is bolstering its presence in the Charleston, S.C., area by snapping up 11 Kerr Drug locations, seven of which will remain open under the CVS banner.

“CVS/pharmacy is committed to providing expert pharmacy care to the Charleston community. By expanding our presence through the acquisition of Kerr’s high-quality Charleston stores, we will offer our customers greater convenience and access to our services,” stated CVS spokesman Mike DeAngelis in a statement sent to Drug Store News.

The deal, which was finalized this month, calls for seven of the acquired stores to remain open under the CVS name, while the remaining four locations will be closed and consolidated into nearby CVS stores.

Most of the locations were existing Rite Aid stores that Kerr Drug acquired in 1997 as part of the buyout of Kerr Drug, Eckerd, and Rite Aid locations by the former JCPenney/Thrift Drug executives who still operate the privately-held company, Kerr Drug stated.

“Kerr Drug has made the strategic decision to leave the Charleston, S.C., area and concentrate our growth and investment in the continued development of our plans for leading-edge, comprehensive clinical care programs,” stated Tony Civello, chairman, president and CEO of Kerr Drug, in a prepared statement. “This action is the last step in a deliberate move to strengthen our core through consolidation of our store base, elimination of underperforming assets, diminution of debt, and focus of resources on profitable areas of growth in the emerging health care provider environment. These actions are sometimes necessarily hard, but as part of a strategic blueprint, it was a clear last step.”

Civello noted that the sale does not impact its operations in North Carolina.

CVS currently has more than 180 stores in South Carolina, as well as more than 280 stores in North Carolina. Twenty-three of its stores are located in the Charleston market.

“We look forward to working with our new Charleston colleagues in delivering innovative pharmacy solutions that are effective and easy for customers,” DeAngelis stated. Kerr Drug employees will be offered jobs at CVS.

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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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