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Rite Aid opens first RediClinics in Seattle market

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid last week opened the first three of 11 RediClinic in-store operations in its Seattle market, Ken Martindale, Rite Aid president and COO, told analysts Wednesday morning. 
 
Rite Aid currently operates 24 clinics in two markets: Philadelphia and the Washington, D.C./Baltimore region. 
 
Rite Aid is also making progress with its Genuine Well-Being remodels, Martindale told analysts. "By the end of the quarter, we had a grand total of 1,634 Wellness stores, which represents about 36% of our chain," he said. "These stores continue to out-perform the rest of the chain in terms of same-store front-end sales and script count and we continue to work with our supplier partners to pilot innovative merchandising solutions that deliver engaging customer experiences."
 
In fiscal 2016, Rite Aid plans to open 50 additional clinics.
 
 
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NACDS launches latest resource for meeting and conference attendees

BY Antoinette Alexander

ARLINGTON, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores announced on Wednesday the launch of the “NACDS Events” mobile application, its latest resource for meeting and conference attendees.

The app offers navigational tools and resources to enhance the attendee and exhibitor experience at NACDS meetings and conferences, including the 2015 NACDS Annual Meeting.

The 2015 NACDS Annual Meeting will take place April 25 to 28 in Palm Beach, Fla. The meeting offers an opportunity for more than 2,000 of today’s retail executives from drug, food and mass merchandising and their supplier partners to share insights, and build relationships that extend far beyond the four-day meeting.  

The 2015 NACDS Annual Meeting dashboard within the mobile app provides attendees the tools to create a personalized schedule for the meeting, browse speakers and bookmark sessions of interest, search for exhibitors, reference resources in the local area, and access social media to keep up with updates and the “buzz” surrounding the meeting.

There’s also an interactive floor plan, which will enable Annual Meeting attendees to search the locations of companies they may wish to meet with during the meeting.

This “NACDS Events” mobile app can be downloaded on a number of mobile platforms, or with any device with a camera or by scanning a QR Code. Once the mobile app is downloaded, subscribers are directed to download the 2015 NACDS Annual Meeting dashboard.  

“NACDS continues to utilize technology to enhance the experience for meeting attendees.  This mobile resource will provide attendees practical tools to assist in advanced planning and onsite implementation – right at their fingertips,” stated NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson.  “Innovations in technology enable NACDS to bring cutting-edge efficiencies to its member programs and services.” 

Another tool to help attendees plan for the NACDS Annual Meeting is the Know Before You Go video. Found on the Annual Meeting website, this NACDS-TV educational video delivers tips and insights designed to aid attendees in final preparations before heading to the meeting.
 

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Family Dollar reports 3% lift in Q2 sales as Dollar Tree transaction progresses

BY Michael Johnsen

MATTHEWS, N.C. – Family Dollar Stores on Wednesday reported that total net sales in the second quarter of fiscal 2015 increased 3% to $2.8 billion. Comparable store sales for the 13-week period increased 0.5% as a result of an increase in the number of customer transactions which was offset by a decrease in the average customer transaction value. 
 
“We continue to see tangible benefits from the investments we have made to strengthen our value proposition for customers. Our comparable store sales and customer traffic trends are improving, and we are beginning to see stabilization in key categories," stated Howard Levine, Family Dollar chairman and CEO. "While our trends in late-February were adversely impacted by severe winter weather, our sales trends in March rebounded nicely, reflecting both improved traffic trends and the benefit of an earlier Easter,” he said. “We are excited about the pending merger with Dollar Tree, and our teams are working to ensure a successful integration.” 
 
Net sales of consumables increased 4.6% in the second quarter of fiscal 2015 and represented 72.3% of total net sales, compared to 71.1% of net sales in the second quarter of fiscal 2014. Net sales of discretionary categories (including apparel and accessories, home products and seasonal and electronics) decreased 1% in the second quarter of fiscal 2015 to 27.7% of net sales, compared to 28.9% of net sales in the second quarter of fiscal 2014. 
 
Capital expenditures were $176.5 million in the first half of fiscal 2015 as compared to $219.7 million in the first half of fiscal 2014. The reduction in capital expenditures was primarily due to fewer new store openings and a reduction in technology investments. These reductions were partially offset by increased investments in security equipment and merchandise fixtures in existing stores. 
 
During the first half of fiscal 2015, the company opened 161 new stores and closed 19 stores as compared to 244 new store openings and 22 closings in the first half of fiscal 2014. Family Dollar also renovated, relocated or expanded 291 stores in the first half of fiscal 2015, as compared to 319 stores in the first half of fiscal 2014. 
 
In light of its pending transaction Dollar Tree, the Company has not provided earnings guidance for fiscal 2015 and will not hold a conference call to discuss its second quarter results. 
 
 
 
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