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NRF anticipates moderate growth for holiday sales

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON One of the world’s largest retail trade associations is projecting that holiday sales will increase by a moderate 2.3% to $447.1 billion.

The National Retail Federation said that while growth remains slightly lower than the 10-year average holiday sales increase of 2.5%, it would be a marked improvement from both last year’s 0.4% uptick and the dismal 3.9% holiday sales decline retailers experienced in 2008.

“While many consumers will be wishing for apparel and electronics this holiday season, retailers are hoping the holidays bring sustainable economic growth,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “Though the retail industry is on stronger footing than last year, companies are closely watching key economic indicators like employment and consumer confidence before getting too optimistic that the recession is behind them.”

NRF’s holiday sales forecast is based on an economic model using several indicators, including employment, industrial production, disposable personal income and previous monthly retail sales reports. NRF defines holiday sales as those made in November and December.

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Rx plan from Walmart, Humana arrives

BY Drug Store News Team

BENTONVILLE, Ark. Shortly after Walmart and Humana announced that they would offer a Medicare Part D prescription drug program to customers, signage in Walmart stores popped up.

 

Co-branded as the Humana Walmart-Preferred Rx Plan, the program involves a $14.80 monthly premium that is less than half the weighted 2010 national average, generic drug co-payments as low as $2 at Walmart pharmacies and no co-payments for select generics filled via Humana’s RightSource home-delivery service. Humana and Walmart said the program has the potential to save Medicare Part D enrollees as much as $450 annually.

 

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Hartz keeps dogs, owners happy with new biscuits

BY Allison Cerra

SECAUCUS, N.J. Hartz is looking to keep tails wagging with a new addition to its Crunch ‘n Clean line of dog biscuits.

New Hartz Crunch ‘n Clean Savory Flavors dog biscuits are available in three salivating flavors — braised beef, rotisserie chicken and smokehouse bacon — and contain breath-freshening crystals and DentaShield technology to prevent tartar buildup. The biscuits also include such important vitamins and minerals as iron, choline, zinc, vitamins B12 and D3, riboflavin, thiamin and niacin to promote overall health.

Hartz Crunch ‘n Clean Savory Flavors dog biscuits come in a 26-oz. package for a suggested retail price of $3.49, and are available at such retailers as Walmart, Target and Kroger.

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