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Report: Amazon is preferred retailer of more than 75% of U.S. customers

BY Drug Store News Team

Seventy-six percent of Americans shopping online this holiday season expect to make most purchases on Amazon, according to CNBC’s “All-America Economic Survey.”

While Walmart comes in second place, the retailer lags far behind its rival. Only 8% of Americans who shop online are visiting the discount giant to search or check prices, according to CNBC.

American online shoppers are also using Amazon as their go-to search engine, with 65% of online shoppers searching on Amazon all or most of the time. This is up sharply each of the last two years, the study reported.

The online giant is also the clear winner when it comes to online conversion or the rate of getting consumers who browse to follow through with a purchase. While the average rate of overall online conversion at around just 3%, Amazon has a whopping 57% of searchers buying on the site always or most of the time, according to the study.

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Walgreens announces Christmas hours

BY Gisselle Gaitan

Walgreens is catering to last-minute shoppers in more than one way. The Deerfield, Ill.-based company has announced that it will be open on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Aside from extended store hours, customers are encouraged to order gifts and products online by December 20, to guarantee delivery in time for the holiday.

“Even during the most wonderful time of the year, it may be difficult to remember everyone on our list. With an elevated product assortment, including many gifts under $20, Walgreens looks to make it easy to be holiday ready, especially when it comes to finding gifts last-minute,” Heather Hughes, head of seasonal merchandising for Walgreens said. “Whether it’s a beauty gift set, cozy pair of slippers with a box of candy for a party host, or a last-minute gift card that’s sure to bring joy, we are standing by to help customers find the perfect gift that will delight this holiday season.”

Pharmacies will be open at all 24-hour locations for any prescription needs. Store locations and hours and be found by visiting the company’s website, or calling 1-800-WALGREENS.

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Costco surpasses analyst estimates in earnings

BY Marianne Wilson

Costco earned $640 million, $1.45 a share, in the quarter ended November 26, compared with $545 million, or $1.24 a share, in the year-ago period. Analysts had expected earnings of $1.33 a share.

Net sales rose 13.3% to $31.12 billion, better than analysts expected. Total same-store sales 10.5%.

Costco’s comparable E-commerce sales jumped 43.5%. The increase comes as the retailer has been investing to grow its digital capabilities, including a partnership with delivery service firm Instacart to offer two-day and same-day delivery.

Costco currently operates 746 warehouses, including 518 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 98 in Canada, 37 in Mexico, 28 in the United Kingdom, 26 in Japan, 13 in Korea, 13 in Taiwan, nine in Australia, two in Spain, one in Iceland and one in France. Costco also operates e-commerce websites in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Korea and Taiwan.

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