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Report: Walmart may be eyeing Rite Aid

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Rumors have been circulating that Walmart may be out to buy Rite Aid, though nothing has been confirmed yet, according to published reports.

Crain’s New York Business reported Sunday that the rumors surfaced because many thought the idea would make sense, considering Walmart’s ambitions to enter the New York market have been dashed by local labor unions, while Rite Aid continues to have issues with debt and store closings. A purchase of Rite Aid, analysts said, would boost Walmart’s sales — which have been in decline lately  — and give it a huge presence in the city, where the retail pharmacy chain operates nearly 200 stores.

But in addition to not talking to Crain’s, Rite Aid didn’t comment to Drug Store News about the rumors either because, at least for the time being, that’s just what they are: rumors.

And whatever the future holds, Rite Aid’s moves as of late don’t suggest it’s looking to sell itself. While many — including an analyst quoted in the Crain’s article — have suggested that the chain sell off its West Coast stores, it has consistently refused to do so. It recently converted one West Coast store, in Newport Beach, Calif., to its new Wellness store format, which is part of the chain’s broader effort to pursue organic growth; that effort includes plans to remodel about 500 stores during fiscal year 2012.

While all the Wellness stores except the Newport Beach one are on the East Coast, the fact that it has one in California indicates that it’s looking to improve its West Coast business rather than let go of it.

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A.GODLEY says:
Dec-30-2011 12:07 am

Adam, I agree. But it would sure give Walmart a significant advantage in a number of areas. Clearly the inner city markets as well as extended coverage to offer employers with a direct relationship. Not to mention the opportunity to continue the development of the small store format.

A.FEIN says:
Jul-18-2011 05:01 pm

Anything is possible, I suppose, but I didn't see a single credible fact in the Crain's article. Read it for yourself here: http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20110717/SUB/110719927 (Hey, DBN, why not publish the original link?) Just my $0.02, but Rite-Aid is not in danger of going bankrupt because of last summer's debt restructuring. See Rite-Aid Postpones Judgment Day (Again) Adam

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Q2 sales gain momentum at Weis

BY Michael Johnsen

SUNBURY, Pa. — Weis Markets on Monday reported its second-quarter sales increased 3.5% to $676.7 million, while its comparable-store sales for the period increased 5.1%.

For the 13-week period ended June 25, the company’s net income increased 0.9% to $20.7 million, compared with $20.5 million in 2010, while earnings per share increased to 77 cents, compared with 76 cents in 2010.

Weis attributed its sales increases to grand openings in three key markets, successful sales building programs, operational improvements at store level and improved administrative expense management.

"One year ago, we generated record earnings in the second quarter when our company posted a 35% increase in net income,” Weis president and CEO David Hepfinger said. “We have now improved upon those results while posting strong sales and comparable-store sales gains," he said. "We continue to invest in our growth through the upgrade of our store base and disciplined sales-building programs, which have helped us achieve our results. We also continue to benefit from improved productivity and efficiencies at store and distribution levels."

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Huggies helps parents of squirmy babies with latest diaper

BY Allison Cerra

DALLAS — Huggies has developed a new diaper that is designed to slide on like underwear.

New Huggies Little Movers slip-on diapers offer an easy-to-use solution for parents that struggle with diaper changes due to squirmy babies. The diapers also feature easy-open sides and finger tabs, allowing for simple removal and disposal, according to the brand.

Huggies Little Movers slip-on diapers will be available next month at retailers nationwide from size 3 (16 lbs. to 28 lbs.) through size 5 (more than 27 lbs.).

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