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CVS/pharmacy to launch new ‘CVSCash’ promotion for ExtraCare members

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS/pharmacy is celebrating the unofficial start of the summer season with its “CVSCash Card” promotion that rewards its loyal customers with a little extra cash.

From May 24 through June 20, ExtraCare members can earn a $10 "CVSCash Card" by spending $30 on more than 100 participating products each week of the promotion, including personal care products, household items and summer essentials.

"This promotion is one example of how we are rewarding our loyal customers simply for shopping at CVS/pharmacy," state Judy Sansone, SVP, front store business for CVS/pharmacy. "Summer is a busy time for many families and our goal is to provide personalized savings that ultimately make shoppers' lives simpler."

Customers can find the qualifying products beginning May 24 in the weekly print circular, by visiting myWeekly Ad, the personalized digital version of the weekly circular available on CVS.com and via the CVS/pharmacy Mobile app, or through in-store signage in the seasonal aisle at select locations. All qualifying products will be tagged with a "CVSCash Card" icon to make them easily identifiable.  

Once ExtraCare customers reach a spend of $30 on participating products, a special coupon will print on their receipt that can be redeemed immediately in store for a special $10 gift card to be used on nearly anything sold at CVS/pharmacy stores. There is a limit of one $10 CVSCash card per week for each ExtraCare cardholder.

In addition to this promotion, shoppers are encouraged to register for ExtraCare email and check the CVS/pharmacy mobile app all summer long for extra customized savings they can instantly and digitally send to their cards to save even more.

 

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Meijer makes debut in Wisconsin

BY Michael Johnsen

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A little more than two years after announcing it was considering expansion into Wisconsin, Meijer has confirmed the opening date for its first two supercenters. Meijer will open its Grafton and Kenosha stores on June 23, co-chairman Hank Meijer reported Monday. 
 
"We're extremely eager to finally open our doors to Wisconsin," Meijer said. "We've been telling southeastern Wisconsin residents for months that they will love our fresh grocery options, wide selection of general merchandise and overall value. Now we're excited to prove it as we open our first two stores in Grafton and Kenosha, with more to come later this summer."
 
Meijer leadership and local dignitaries will dedicate the first day of business with a ribbon cutting ceremony at each store. As part of its grand opening celebration, the retailer will feature special promotions and events beginning on June 25. The Grafton and Kenosha supercenters are the first of four that will open this year in southeastern Wisconsin, with locations in Oak Creek and Wauwatosa on track to open in August.
 
The retailer now has 215 stores throughout the Midwest. The new supercenters will feature fresh produce, meat and dairy delivered seven days a week, and a bakery offering fresh bread baked four times daily. As Meijer stores are open 24 hours a day, customers will have access to these offerings around the clock.
 
The stores will also feature a pharmacy offering the company’s free prescription program, which includes leading oral generic antibiotics with a special focus on prescriptions most often filled for children, prenatal vitamins and medications for those with diabetes and high cholesterol.
 
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Walmart’s efforts to boost store experience lead to sales slump

BY Mike Troy

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Declining gas prices helped U.S. same-store sales at Walmart Stores, but the negative impact of foreign currency exchange and efforts to improve store experience and employee wages dampened total sales and operating profits.
 
Total company sales declined 0.1% to $114.8 billion, but increased 2.7% to 118.1 billion if the negative effect of currency exchange rates are excluded from the calculation. Net income declined 7% to $3.34 billion during the quarter ended April 30. Earnings per share of $1.03, although within the company’s guidance range of 95 cents to $1.10 were below the prior year’s level of $1.10.
 
In addition to the foreign exchange effect that the company said was greater than it expected, incremental investments in e-commerce dinged profits by another two cents as did investments in employee training and compensation announced earlier this year.
 
Sales at the U.S. stores division increased 3.5% to $70.2 billion, but operating profits declined 6.8% to $4.6 billion as Walmart invested in employee wages and added labor to stores as part of a broader effort to improve the shopping experience.
 
In April the company increased its minimum hourly wage to $9 and also put 8,000 department managers back on the sales floor.
 
“These department managers will have responsibility for a smaller area of the store ensuring that they have the knowledge and the time to engage with both the customers and store associates driving an overall better experience,” said Walmart U.S. president and CEO Greg Foran.
 
Foran added that U.S. comp sales growth was driven by a 1% increase in traffic as customer benefitted from lower gas prices and responded favorably to some of new assortments for spring and summer.
 
“All formats had positive comps for the quarter, including our traditional-format Neighborhood Markets, which posted approximately a 7.9% comp. A focus on customer service and in-stock position drove strong traffic in this format,” Foran said. “Customers continue to see the benefit of Neighborhood Markets to meet their everyday needs, including convenient access to services such as drive-thru pharmacies and fuel stations.”
 
Sam’s Club also had a challenging quarter with a lower than expected 0.4% same store sales increase and worse than expected profits. Operating profits declined 10.9% to $427 million even though membership increased 7%. In a vote of confidence, Walmart Stores president and CEO Doug McMillon said recently launched new services have promise for improved member acquisition and retention, and investments in Club Pick-up and e-commerce are starting to pay off.
 
“However, we need more consistent progress, and I’m confident that the strategic plan the Sam’s Club team is working on will lead to longer-term improvements in our club business,” McMillon said.
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