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CVS, InComm receive Paybefore award

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS and InComm, a marketer and distributor of gift and prepaid products, have received the Best in Category Award for Best Third-Party Card Retailer in the 2008 Paybefore Awards.

CVS offers more than 200 stored-valued products, including third-party gift cards from such categories as music, restaurants, travel, electronics and toys. The product category at CVS is featured on a permanent end-cap display with large storybook panels that invite customers to peruse the card products grouped by categories.

“Both CVS and InComm have worked very hard to make sure that we provide our customers with the best possible selection of gift and prepaid products, and we are honored to have our efforts recognized by the Paybefore Awards,” stated Cary Chaney, CVS category manager.

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MinuteClinic moves forward with Massachusetts plans

BY Antoinette Alexander

MINNEAPOLIS MinuteClinic, a clinic operator owned by CVS Caremark, has applied for its first 10 clinic sites in Massachusetts and expects the opening dates to be in late summer to early fall.

As previously reported by Drug Store News, in January, state health officials approved regulations allowing for limited service medical clinics, marking the end of a long review process that included two public hearings and the submission of hundreds of pages of testimony regarding the regulations.

MinuteClinic stated that it is working with the Massachusetts Department of Health and “is confident that the sites meet the regulatory requirements and will receive approval to move forward.”

The new in-store clinics are planned for CVS stores in Ashland, Beverly, Bridgewater, Danvers, Medford, Medway, Stoughton, Taunton, Tewkesbury and Westford.

The sites are the first of a total of 25 to 30 the company expects to open in Massachusetts by the end of 2008.

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Hallmark exits online flower and gift business

BY Doug Desjardins

KANSAS CITY, Mo. Hallmark is exiting the online gift and flower business, citing a less-than-acceptable return on investment. The move will result in the loss of about 100 jobs at its corporate headquarters and distribution center in Memphis, Tenn., though Hallmark said it would try to find new jobs in the company for those workers.

Hallmark started its online flower business in 2001 and its online and catalog gift and decor business in 2005. The decision will not affect its online business for greeting cards and stationery. A company spokeswoman said Hallmark decided to shutter the flower and gift divisions after determining they “couldn’t guarantee the results we needed.”

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