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Rite Aid continues positive momentum with 4.3% same-store sales lift in March

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Shares of Rite Aid were up slightly Thursday morning by 3% to more than $8.85 in early morning trading, following the company's report of March results. 
 
For the four weeks ended March 28, overall same-store sales increased 4.3%, with a front-end same-store sales increase of 2.5% and pharmacy same-store sales increase of 5.1%. Pharmacy same-store sales results included an approximate 167 basis points negative impact from new generic introductions. 
 
Prescription count at comparable stores increased 2.5% over the prior-year period.
 
Total drug store sales for the four-week period increased 4.1% to $2 billion. Prescription sales accounted for 69.9% of drug store sales, and third party prescription sales represented 97.7% of pharmacy sales.
 
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Cub Foods orders disability-friendly Caroline’s Cart for all Minnesota stores

BY Michael Johnsen

 
 
STILLWATER, Minn. – Cub Foods, the first grocer in the Twin Cities to offer Caroline's Cart to customers with special needs children, on Wednesday announced it is bringing the one-of-a-kind customized shopping carts to all 76 Cub stores in Minnesota, as well as one store in Freeport, Ill. The new carts began arriving at stores in late March and are expected to be available at all Cub Foods locations by the end of April.
 
Designed specifically for older children and adults with disabilities, Caroline's Cart combines the functionality of a wheelchair with a traditional shopping cart to make the in-store experience simpler, safer and more inclusive by eliminating the difficult task of maneuvering a wheelchair and grocery cart at the same time.
 
"Since our founding, it has been our goal to provide the best possible shopping experience to all of our customers," stated Mike Stigers, president at Cub Foods. "The positive response of shoppers who use Caroline's Cart led directly to our decision to expand to all Cub stores. We're proud to have the opportunity to make it easier for customers to include family members with special needs in their regular shopping trips."
 
"When I first designed Caroline's Cart, we set out on a mission to make it available to the families of millions of children with special needs throughout the United States — families just like ours," commented Drew Ann Long, Caroline's Cart designer. "It warms my heart to know that by offering Caroline's Cart at all locations, Cub Foods is providing families of those with special needs a convenient opportunity to enjoy the freedom of shopping together."
 
Cub Foods first introduced Caroline's Cart to the Twin Cities metro area at its Maple Grove store as part of a pilot program in 2014. 
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Meijer remodels four stores to make pharmacy more convenient

BY Michael Johnsen

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Meijer on Thursday announced it will invest nearly $50 million in extensive remodel projects for four supercenters in the Dayton, Ohio area located in Kettering, Miami Township, Englewood and Beavercreek. 
 
Work on the four Dayton-area stores will begin in April and be completed in multiple phases so the stores can remain open during the construction process. The project is slated to be finished later this year and will provide each store with a new facade, remodeled gas station and drive-thru pharmacy. The remodeled supercenters will also boast enhanced floor plans to allow for expanded selections in departments throughout the store.
 
"We are pleased to reinforce our commitment to Dayton," Meijer co-chairman Hank Meijer said. "Our customers expect high standards from us, and our investment in these stores will ensure they enjoy the best shopping experience we can provide."
 
The remodel project will allow for wider aisles and redesigned departments in all of the stores, which will feature expanded selections of national and specialty brands. The new pharmacies will be relocated near the front of the stores, Health and Beauty Care will feature prestige skincare and vitamin brands, and a new Baby Center will provide a refreshed shopping experience for expectant parents. The pet department will offer a wider assortment of natural pet food.
 
The expanded apparel department will feature 12-foot-high walls and specialty lighting with updated fitting rooms. It will also feature national brands like Fila, New Balance, Reebok, Amy Byer, Carters, Wallflower, Almost Famous, Union Baby, Chaps and Jessica Simpson.
 
All stores will be remodeled to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards and include a variety of enhancements both inside and outside the store such as exterior lighting and parking lot upgrades. Additionally, the introduction of newer technology in key areas during the remodel process results in reduced energy usage and a more energy-efficient store.
 
"Our goal is to provide an exceptional shopping experience for our customers," Meijer said. "Dayton is a community we've enjoyed serving for nearly 25 years since our first stores opened in 1991. We are pleased to renew our commitment to meeting the needs of families in the Dayton area."
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