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CVS Caremark’s Helena Foulkes joins Home Depot board of directors

BY Antoinette Alexander

ATLANTA — CVS Caremark’s Helena Foulkes has been appointed to Home Depot’s board of directors.

Foulkes, who serves as EVP and chief health care strategy and marketing officer for CVS Caremark, will be a member of the Finance and Leadership Development & Compensation Committees for the home improvement retailer. Her appointment gives the company 11 directors, 10 of whom are independent.

Foulkes brings a wealth of experience in retail marketing strategies, operations and merchandising to the Home Depot board of directors. During her 15-plus years at CVS, Foulkes has served as the company’s EVP and chief marketing officer (2009 to 2011), SVP of Health Services of CVS/pharmacy (2007 to 2009), SVP marketing and operations services, January to October 2007, and SVP advertising and marketing (2002 to 2007). She has also held positions in strategic planning, visual merchandising and category management while at CVS.

"I’m pleased to welcome Helena to our board and look forward to the unique insight she brings from her years of retail experience and leadership," stated Frank Blake, chairman and CEO of Home Depot.


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NRF: Drop in number to celebrate Halloween this year

BY Dan Berthiaume

WASHINGTON — Nearly 158 million consumers will participate in Halloween activities, slightly less than the historic high of 170 million people last year. New figures from the National Retail Federation indicate the average consumer will spend $75.03 on Halloween this year, down 6% from $79.82 last year.

However, average overall spending on Halloween has increased 54.7% since 2005, with total spending estimated to reach $6.9 billion in 2013. Other NRF figures include:

• About 44% of people plan to dress up and will spend a total of $2.6 billion on costumes, including $1.04 billion for children’s costumes and $1.22 billion for adult costumes;

• One-fourth of U.S. consumers (25.2%) say the state of the economy will impact their Halloween spending plans and nearly nine-in-10 (86.1%) will spend less overall, up slightly from 83.5% last year. In addition, 32.7% will buy less candy and 18.1% will make a costume instead of buying one;

• About 14% of consumers plan to buy a pet costume and will spend a total of $330 million;

• The average person buying or making a costume will spend $27.85, similar to the $28.65 spent last year;

• Consumers will spend $2.08 billion on candy, $1.96 billion on decorations and $360 million on greeting cards;

• Nearly one-third (32.8%) of consumers will begin shopping before September 30. An additional 67.2% of consumers will shop in October. Specifically, 43.6% will begin the first two weeks in October and 23.6% will wait until the final two weeks of the month;

• One-third (32.9%) of consumers will search for costume ideas online, another third (32.8%) will look for new ideas in a store, and one-fifth (20.8%) will seek advice from friends or family. In addition, 14.1% will check Facebook for inspiration, 9.3% will look at Pinterest and 3.8% will review blogs.

“Still one of the most beloved and anticipated consumer holidays, Halloween will be far from a bust this year,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “After a long summer, the arrival of fall will put millions of Americans in the spirit to partake in traditional and festive activities. Retailers recognize that when it comes to Halloween, consumers’ creativity abounds. We expect retailers to stock their shelves with unique costume ideas for adults, children and pets, a variety of candy options and never-seen-before home and yard decor.”


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Sandoz launches authorized generic drug for myelodysplastic syndrome

BY Alaric DeArment

PRINCETON, N.J. — Sandoz has launched an authorized generic drug for treating a disease commonly known as pre-leukemia, the company said on Monday.

Sandoz, the generics division of Novartis, announced the launch of azacitidine injection, an authorized generic version of Celgene’s Vidaza, in 100-mg, single-use vials. The drug is used to treat myelodysplastic syndrome, a bone marrow disease. Authorized generics are branded drugs marketed at a discounted price under their generic names, usually through a third-party company under contract with the branded drug’s manufacturer.

Vidaza had sales of $373 million during the 12-month period that ended in May, according to IMS Health.


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