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Drug-system reform hurts Shoppers’ Q3

BY Allison Cerra

TORONTO New pricing and reimbursement pressures drove down Shoppers Drug Mart’s third-quarter profit, the Canada-based drug store chain said Wednesday.

Despite a 2.6% increase in third-quarter sales to $3.09 billion, the company said that as a result of drug-system reform initiatives in the country, a reduction in generic prescription reimbursement rates — combined with greater generic prescription utilization — had a negative impact on sales dollar growth in pharmacy. Prescription sales rose a mere 0.8%, accounting for 48.3% of Shoppers’ sales mix. Similarly, the chain’s third-quarter profit declined 7%.

Meanwhile, front-end store sales rose 4.4% in the third quarter to $1.6 billion, which was driven by growth in core categories, as well as investments in marketing, pricing and promotional activities.

Commenting on the results, Jurgen Schreiber, Shoppers president and CEO said, “Our results for the third quarter met our expectations as we confront the new pricing and reimbursement pressures facing all of us that are invested and engaged in the practice of community pharmacy. To that end, we continue to work hard. … While much hard work remains, I am confident in the capabilities of our people and believe that as a market leader, we remain well-positioned to execute on our strategic priorities and initiatives and capitalize on the business opportunities that lie ahead.”

During the third quarter, 17 drug stores were opened, 11 of which were relocations, and six smaller drug stores were closed.

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First season of ‘Hot in Cleveland’ arrives on DVD

BY Allison Cerra

LOS ANGELES The first season of TV Land’s "hot" sitcom, starring Betty White, will be available as a two-disc DVD set on Jan. 11.

"Hot in Cleveland," starring TV veterans Valerie Bertinelli (“One Day at a Time”), Jane Leeves (“Frasier”), Wendie Malick (“Just Shoot Me”) and Betty White (“The Golden Girls”), is making its way to DVD. The two-disc set features the 10-episode season and such bonus material as the original full-length pilot, bloopers, featurettes, a set tour and more. The “Hot In Cleveland” season one DVD will be available for the suggested retail price of $26.99.

Season two of the show will premiere Jan. 19 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on TV Land.

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Forging ahead with turnaround plan, A&P enters sale-leaseback deal

BY Antoinette Alexander

MONTVALE, N.J. Grocer A&P, which is in the midst of a turnaround, has entered into an agreement with Winstanley Enterprises and certain affiliated entities to sell six of its retail locations for $89.8 million, exclusive of closing costs, in a sale-leaseback deal.

Winstanley agreed to purchase 100% of the company’s interest in six Pathmark retail properties located in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. The properties are 95% occupied and leased to A&P.

"This agreement is another step forward in our comprehensive turnaround strategy. We continue to analyze areas across the business to identify ways such as these to further strengthen our financial foundation and improve our performance," stated Sam Martin, president and CEO of A&P.

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