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NRF predicts 0.5% retail sales decline in ’09

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON The National Retail Federation on Tuesday released its 2009 economic forecast, projecting retail industry sales, excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants, will decline 0.5% from last year.

“Most of the consumer behavior we saw in 2008 will continue well into this year,” stated NRF chief economist Rosalind Wells. “Shoppers will be seeking value and trading down to discount and off-price retailers in order to stretch their purchasing power.”

The first half of the year will see a continuation of the weakness that was felt in most of 2008, NRF concluded. First half sales are expected to decline 2.5%. There will be some improvement in the third quarter with sales decreasing 1.1%. In the fourth quarter, sales are expected to improve 3.6% due to easy comparisons to last year as well as a strengthening economy.

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Study: 13% of Americans aged 20 and over have diabetes

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Almost 13% of Americans aged 20 and older have diabetes, according to a new study.

Of those, 40% have been diagnosed, which is more than previous studies indicated, but the number of undiagnosed patients has remained flat, according to the study, published in the February issue of Diabetes Care.

The study was based on a national survey of more than 7,000 patients aged 12 and older interviewed between 2005 and 2006. The researchers compared the data to data gathered between 1988 an 1994.

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CVS/pharmacy holds 2nd annual ‘For All the Ways You Care’ contest

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS/pharmacy has announced that it is holding its second annual “For All the Ways You Care” contest created as a way to celebrate and honor caregivers nationwide.

“CVS/pharmacy is committed to caring for women and those they care for. We are pleased to see the For All the Ways You Care community continues to grow as people exchange stories and discuss all aspects of caregiving,” stated Rob Price, SVP, marketing and advertising for CVS/pharmacy. “Thousands of stories have been shared on ForAllTheWaysYouCare.com since it launched last year, and we continue to be truly amazed by the selfless devotion demonstrated by so many caregivers.”

The site is a growing community that serves as forum for people to share a story about someone who has touched their life or how they personally have touched another’s.

For the stories submitted between Oct. 5, 2008 and March 1, 2009, CVS/pharmacy and a panel of judges will select a group of finalists and ultimately a grand-prize winner whose stories best represent a nurturing spirit and dedication to others. The finalists will be honored for their inspirational stories at a luncheon and luxury weekend in New York City in May. In addition, nine finalists will each receive $10,000 and the grand-prize winner will receive $25,000 from CVS/pharmacy.

Panelists include Lee Woodruff, author and wife of ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff; Dr. Roseanna Means, founder of Women of Means, a program of volunteer doctors who provide free medical care to homeless women and children; Tina Sharkey, BabyCenter chairman and global president; and Rosemary Ellis, Good Housekeeping editor-in-chief. Panelists will post their own personal caregiving stories on the Web site.

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