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Kroger ratifies contract with Memphis union

BY DSN STAFF

MEMPHIS, Tenn. Kroger announced today that it has ratified a new contract with the members of UFCW Local 1529 in Memphis. The union represents more than 7,500 associates who work in 72 Kroger stores in Memphis and parts of Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee.

“We appreciate that our associates stayed focus on serving our customers during this process. This agreement provides wage increases and affordable quality health care benefits for our employees and their families and keeps Kroger competitive in the marketplace,” said Mark Prestidge, president of Kroger’s Delta division.

The four-year contract goes into effect immediately.

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MinuteClinic opens 500th unit

BY Antoinette Alexander

MINNEAPOLIS MinuteClinic, which is owned by CVS Caremark, has opened its 500th clinic with the addition of three new centers in Dallas, Los Angeles and Orlando, Fla.

MinuteClinic, which has a clinic network that expands to 25 states, expects to open 150 to 250 additional locations in 2008.

“We’re proud to have seen more than 1.8 million patient visits since our inception,” stated Michael Howe, MinuteClinic chief executive officer. “This reflects both the growth in our number of clinics, as well as the enthusiastic adoption of this model of care by consumers.”

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Costco Q2 sales up 12 percent

BY Doug Desjardins

ISSAQUAH, Wash. Costco Wholesale today announced that net sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2008 increased 12% to $16.62 billion, from $14.8 billion during the second quarter of fiscal 2007. Net sales for the first half of fiscal 2008 increased 12% to $32.09 billion, from $28.66 billion during the first half of fiscal 2007.

For the second quarter, Costco’s total comps were up 7%. For the first half of 2008, compas were up 7%. The U.S. comparable sales figure includes, among other things, the effect of recent gasoline price inflation, with the average sales price per gallon of gasoline up 29% year-over-year for the quarter. Excluding this, U.S. comparable sales in the second quarter would have been 3% (instead of the 5% reported).

Net income for the second quarter of fiscal 2008 was $327.9 million, or 74 cents per diluted share, compared to $249.5 million, or 54 cents per diluted share, during the second quarter of fiscal 2007. Net income for the first half of fiscal 2008 was $589.8 million, or $1.33 per diluted share, compared to net income for the first half of fiscal 2007 of $486.4 million, or $1.05 per diluted share.

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