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Report: Jean Coutu may try again for U.S.-based drug store chain

BY Michael Johnsen

CALGARY, Alberta — The Jean Coutu Group may be only biding its time before making another go at a pharmacy operation in the United States, the Calgary Herald reported Friday, citing Jean Coutu Group chairman Jean Coutu’s recently released autobiography, written in French.

 

According to the report, Coutu suggested that jettisoning the Eckerd headquarters led to the early demise of the Brooks-Eckerd deal because there “weren’t enough key personnel to make the merger work.”

 

 

For now, JCG holds a 28.4% equity interest in the No. 3 American pharmacy chain, Rite Aid, and has four directors on that company’s board, the Herald reported. With that stake, Jean Coutu is in a position of "active waiting" in the U.S. market. Coutu expects that once America’s healthcare reform gets into full swing, the business of pharmacy should realize a resurgance.

 

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Supervalu EVP transitions to new role

BY Allison Cerra

MINNEAPOLIS — A 20-year veteran at Supervalu will become a senior counselor outside of the company for one year.

David Boehnen, who as EVP was responsible for legal, business development, real estate and store development, as well as government affairs, will leave his post at the retailer but will serve as a senior counselor for Supervalu president and CEO Craig Herkert for one year.

The change is effective Dec. 15.

 

“I have had a close relationship with Supervalu extending for many years, even before I joined the company in early 1991. I will reflect on it fondly as I move into the next phase of my career,” Boehnen said. “While I will no longer be involved in the day-to-day activities of the company, I look forward to working with Craig and the management team in my new capacity.”

 

 

With Boehnen’s new role, Todd Sheldon, group VP legal, will be promoted to SVP and general counsel, reporting to Andy Herring, EVP real estate, market development and legal.

 

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Walgreens inks deal with NRG Energy

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. In an effort to extend its environmental stewardship, Walgreens stores in the Houston area soon will feature high-powered rapid charging stations for electric vehicles for customer use, thanks to a new partnership with NRG Energy.

The initial rollout of NRG Energy’s eVgosm charging stations will include installation at 18 Walgreens locations, with the first charging station expected to be installed in February 2011. The partnership is part of the drug store chain’s sustainability efforts, Walgreens said. The eVgosm network, which also will include charging stations at public parking facilities, other retailers and work places in the Houston area, will help ensure anyone with an electric vehicle has a place to charge up within 25 miles of the Houston city center.

 

“Our neighborhood stores will be a great and convenient location for customers to recharge electric vehicles,” said Walgreens director of energy and sustainability Menno Enters. “This is another way we are providing our customers with an environmentally sustainable shopping experience, and it sets us apart as a retailer who is moving clean and green energy alternatives forward.”

 

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