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Publix reveals next GreenWise Market location

BY Marianne Wilson

Publix announced a third location for its revamped organic and natural foods store concept.

The supermarket retailer said it will open a 25,000-sq.-ft. GreenWise Market in Lakeland, Florida, which is the home of Publix’s corporate offices. A projected opening date has yet to be determined.

“Our new GreenWise Market concept celebrates specialty, natural and organic foods, and we think foodies and health-conscious customers alike will love what the store will offer,” said Kevin Murphy, Publix senior VP of retail operations. “We’re especially excited to announce a location in our hometown.”

Publix in 2017 announced plans to reignite its natural foods store concept, with the first location due to open in Tallahassee, Florida, in late September 2018. The store is currently under construction.

The second location of the natural foods concept is under construction in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, with an expected opening in early 2019. Publix continues to look for additional GreenWise Market locations throughout its operating area.

Publix launched the GreenWise format in 2007, and currently operates three stores under the banner. But it has not opened a new GreenWise location since 2008.

Publix has 1,171 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.

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Walgreens makes Shingrix available chainwide

BY Michael Johnsen

Walgreens on Thursday announced that GlaxoSmithKline’s Shingrix, the first new shingles vaccine in more than a decade, is now available at most Walgreens and Duane Reade pharmacies across the U.S., including Puerto Rico. Beginning March 15, the vaccine will also be available at all Walgreens Healthcare Clinics.

“Vaccination remains the best and only protection against the shingles virus,” Tasha Polster, vice president, immunizations for Walgreens, said. “By adding Shingrix to our immunizations offering, we are even better equipped to care for our patients as we strive to keep our communities healthy.”

Shingrix was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Oct. 20 for use in adults aged 50 years and older.

Healthy adults age 50 and older should receive two doses of Shingrix two to six months apart, even if they have previously received a shingles vaccine, have had shingles or if they are uncertain if they have previously had chickenpox.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices this past fall voted in favor of three recommendations for the use of GlaxoSmithKline’s Shingrix (Zoster Vaccine Recombinant, Adjuvanted) containing QS-21 Stimulon for the prevention of shingles.

The three recommendations include:

  • Herpes Zoster subunit vaccine (Shingrix) is recommended for the prevention of herpes zoster and related complications for immunocompetent adults age 50 year and older;
  • Herpes Zoster subunit vaccine (Shingrix) is recommended for the prevention of herpes zoster and related complication for immunocompetent adults who previously received Zoster Vaccine Live (Zostavax); and
  • Herpes Zoster subunit vaccine (Shingrix) is preferred over Zoster Vaccine Live (Zostavax) for the prevention of herpes zoster and related complications.

Shingles is a major public health issue in the US, impacting as many as 1 in 3 older adults over the age of 50 years. Shingles is caused by a virus called varicella zoster, which is also known as the chicken pox virus. Nearly all older adults have the varicella zoster virus dormant in their nervous system waiting to reactivate with advancing age and weakened immune systems.

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Kroger posts annual sales gains of 6.4% to $122.7 billion

BY Michael Johnsen

Kroger on Thursday reported net earnings of $854 million and identical supermarket sales, without fuel, of 1.5% in the fourth quarter of 2017, which ended on Feb. 3, 2018. Total sales increased 12.4% to $31 billion in the fourth quarter compared to $27.6 billion for the same period last year. Total sales, excluding fuel and the 53rd week, increased 2.7% in the fourth quarter over the same period last year.

“We launched Restock Kroger in the fall of 2017 and finished the year with positive momentum in our sales and overall business,” Rodney McMullen, Kroger chairman and CEO, said. “Customers are letting us know that they see, feel and appreciate our efforts to redefine the customer experience – and they are rewarding us with growing loyalty. This is the cycle that creates long-term value for shareholders. … As we embark on our first full year of Restock Kroger, we are encouraged at the start of 2018 and confident in our ability to deliver on both our plan for the year and our long-term vision to serve America through food inspiration and uplift.”

Some of the highlights for the year included $16.7 billion in annual sales of natural and organic sales, including $2 billion in Simple Truth sales; Kroger opened the Kroger Culinary Innovation Center in downtown Cincinnati and opened its 1,000th ClickList store; and Kroger hosted its second Natural Foods Innovation Summit to expand natural and local supplier offerings.

Net earnings for 2017 totaled $1.9 billion, or $2.09 per diluted share. Total sales increased 6.4% to $122.7 billion in 2017 compared to $115.3 billion in 2016. Excluding fuel, the 53rd week and the Modern Health merger, total sales increased 2.2% in 2017 compared to 2016.

Kroger is targeting identical supermarket sales growth, excluding fuel, to range from 1.5% to 2% in 2018. The company expects net earnings to range from $1.95 to $2.15 per diluted share.

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