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RediClinic kicks off new year with Weigh Forward introductory package

BY Antoinette Alexander

HOUSTON — It’s the new year, and for many people that means setting a resolution to drop those extra pounds. In an effort to help consumers meet that goal, RediClinic is offering an introductory price for its Weigh Forward weight-loss program.

The exclusive limited-time offer gives patients access to one visit with a specially-trained clinician at RediClinic. The introductory package, priced at $99, also includes:

  • Three weeks of meal plans and a selection of recipes;

  • Physical exam;

  • Body composition analysis;

  • Lipo B injection;

  • Sample supplement kit.

Weigh Forward, which was developed in partnership with weight-loss expert David L. Katz, M.D., kicked off May 2011 at all 29 RediClinic locations in H-E-B stores in Houston, Austin and San Antonio.


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Credit Suisse: December drug channel comps will be lackluster

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Retailers will report weak December front-end sales growth across the drug channel as continued inflation likely was offset by the slow start to the flu season and disappointing overall traffic and volume growth, Credit Suisse research analyst Ed Kelly suggested in a note published Tuesday.

"While drug stores have been fairly successful passing through product cost inflation at the shelf, our Nielsen Trend Tracker shows that volumes have decelerated in recent months given the weak consumer and normal price elasticity," he wrote.

In addition to the economy, year-over-year prescription growth was down 70 basis points for the four weeks ended Dec. 16, Kelly noted, citing IMS Health data.

Kelly projected Walgreens comparable sales will be flat for December (the chain’s monthly sales will be released Jan. 5) on account of difficult year-ago comparisons across the front end and an acceleration of lost Express Script prescriptions. Kelly expects the Express Script impact to accelerate from November — to a 200 basis point impact from the 110 basis point impact reported in November.

Kelly projected Rite Aid total same-store sales will be up between 1% and 2%, with a 0.5% lift across front-end comparable sales and a 2% lift across pharmacy sales — a projection that incorporates a negative 200 basis-point impact from new generics, such as Lipitor. Rite Aid reports December sales Jan. 4.

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Kmart parent brings in a new merchandising leader

BY DSN STAFF

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Kmart parent company Sears Holdings hired Ron Boire as EVP, chief merchandising officer and president of Sears and Kmart formats.

Boire, who previously was president and CEO of Brookstone, will lead merchandising and retail stores for both the Sears and Kmart brands.

"He will work with our leadership team to better serve our customers and Shop Your Way Rewards Members by integrating their experiences across our stores, online, services, and mobile capabilities," the company said.

"We are in the midst of a transformation of our business, from top to bottom, as we seek to become the leading integrated retailer in the country," Sears Holdings president and CEO Lou D’Ambrosio said. "By attracting someone with Ron’s significant experience in retail, merchandising and product development as well as in leading companies through turnarounds, we’re adding a key talent in accelerating our transformation."

The move comes shortly after Sears announced plans to close 100 to 120 Sears and Kmart stores. D’Ambrosio added, "We have made some difficult decisions recently and will make the hard choices necessary to turn our business around going forward. At the same time, we will continue to invest to better serve our customers by delivering world-class, integrated experiences across our stores, our online sites, our services and our mobile capabilities. And, we will continue to invest in our people, ensuring that we have the talent and skills necessary to effect this transformation."

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