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Disney/Pixar brings ‘Brave’ home

BY Rebecca Haughey

Disney/Pixar is bringing its latest animated adventure to various Blu-ray combo packs and DVD this November.

 

Set in the ancient Highlands of Scotland, “Brave” follows young, rebellious Merida as she defies age-old traditions and begins a journey to discover the true meaning of bravery.

 

The Blu-ray release of “Brave” includes hours of new bonus material, behind-the-scenes features, extended and deleted scenes, the new short film “The Legend of Mor’du" and more.

 

The 5-Disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition, which includes one Blu-Ray 3-D disc, two Blu-Ray discs, one DVD and one digital copy, will debut Nov. 13 for a suggested retail price of $49.99. In addition, a 3-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack will be available for a suggested retail price of $39.99. The 1-Disc DVD has a suggested retail price of $29.99.

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Seeing value in the optical care business

BY Jim Frederick

More than 11 million Americans are living with an uncorrected vision problem, according to the Vision Council of America, and 1-in-4 children have a common eye disease or other vision problem that goes undetected.

That void in health delivery is one factor that compels retail giants like Walmart, Sam’s Club and Costco to maintain big stakes in the store-based optical care business. Another is the sheer size of the vision care market: roughly $28 billion in total sales of vision care products and services sold at all optical retail locations in 2010, according to Jobson Publishing’s Vision Monday report — mass merchants captured $2.3 billion of that.

While it has made no definitive announcement that it intends to open optical centers here in the United States, one area of the Alliance Boots business that Walgreens no doubt will watch and learn from is Boots’ substantial optical business, which represents about 5% of the company’s revenues.

Besides their direct sales contribution, optical centers also can be a significant source of prescriptions, both for vision correction and related eye treatments.

No doubt fueled by the aging baby boomer market, “cheaters” were the top-selling optical item last year, up 6.5%, according to the Vision Council. Contact lenses were up 3.9% and eye exams grew 4.9%.

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Diagnostic centers at nexus of health care

BY Jim Frederick

No picture of the evolving landscape of retail health care would be complete without including the growing nationwide network of diagnostic screening centers. Serving patients on both an appointment and walk-in basis, the centers sit at the nexus of healthcare decision-making, serving as a bridge and decision-making tool for primary care doctors, specialists, hospitals, ambulatory care centers and pharmacies.

The field is dominated by Madison, N.J.-based Quest Diagnostics, which now operates testing labs and patient service centers throughout the United States and in many foreign countries, but many regional and local testing centers also are luring patients and their physicians with a growing menu of health screenings.

Diagnostic work at the centers can range from blood work for a wide range of disease screenings to MRIs, ultrasound, digital mammography and radiology. Results are quickly available both to patients and their health providers.

The market for such services is significant. To cite an example, Quest reported revenues of $3.8 billion for the first half of fiscal 2012 ended June 30, with operating earnings of $670 million.

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