RETAIL NEWS

Rite Aid store transfers pass halfway mark

BY DSN STAFF

The Rite Aid-Walgreens transition is on track to be completed by spring.

Camp Hill, Pa.-based Rite Aid has successfully transferred 1,114 stores to Walgreens Boots Alliance and has received cash proceeds of $2.424 billion, which the company continues to use to reduce debt. The drug store chain said it expects to finish the transfer by spring.

“As we work to complete this process, we remain focused on opportunities to build our business while delivering a great experience to our customers and patients and driving value for our shareholders,” Rite Aid chairman and CEO John Standley said.

Now that the halfway point is passed, Rite Aid has gained 10-year access to the Walgreens Boots Alliance Development generics purchasing organization, which Rite Aid president and COO Kermit Crawford told the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in January would play a big role in keeping the chain competitive.

“This is huge,” Crawford said. “One of the concerns we’ve heard is ‘You’re a smaller company, are you going to be able to buy as well?’ This gives us the confidence that we will be able to buy our generic purchasing at a very competitive rate.”

Walgreens purchased a total of 1,932 stores, three distribution centers and related inventory from Rite Aid for $4.375 billion in cash.

Most of the stores being sold to Walgreens are in the southeastern U.S., leaving Rite Aid with the majority of its stores on the East and West coasts.

In addition to allowing Rite Aid to reduce its debt, the sale and ongoing transition of stores bolstered the chain’s profits for the third quarter. Net income rose to $81.03 million, in the quarter ended Dec. 2, from $15.01 million.

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Kevin Hourican
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Hourican to lead CVS Pharmacy during search for Foulkes’ successor

BY David Salazar

CVS Health’s retail division will be helmed by a longtime company hand as it searches for a replacement president. The company on Thursday said that Kevin Hourican would be at the helm of CVS Pharmacy while the company looks internally and externally to find a successor for former president Helena Foulkes, who is the incoming CEO of Hudson’s Bay.

Hourican is currently CVS Health’s executive vice president of retail pharmacy and supply chain, a role he moved into nearly two years ago after four years as senior vice president of field operations and supply chain. He joined CVS Health in 2012 from Macy’s, where he was a senior vice president.

While the search to fill the president role on a permanent basis takes place, Hourican will report to CVS Health executive vice president and COO Jon Roberts.

Hourican recently participated in DSN’s Industry Issues Summit, where he participated in a panel discussion on how to overcome barriers to patient-facing care.

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Amazon, Whole Foods launch same-day delivery

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Amazon is tapping into its Whole Foods Market acquisition to ramp up same-day delivery.

The online giant has launched free, two-hour delivery of natural and organic products from Whole Foods Market through Prime Now. The service debuted in Austin, Cincinnati, Dallas and Virginia Beach. Amazon said it plans to expand the program nationwide this year.

Whole Foods has a section on Prime Now online, as well as on the Prime Now app, which is available on Android and iOS devices. The service enables customers to shop for fresh produce, high-quality meat and seafood, everyday staples and other locally sourced items. Select alcohol is also available for delivery.

Prime members receive free two-hour delivery. One-hour deliveries are $7.99 on orders of $35 or more. Whole Foods Market deliveries through Prime Now are available daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., according to Amazon.

“We’re happy to bring our customers the convenience of free two-hour delivery through Prime Now and access to thousands of natural and organic groceries and locally sourced favorites,” said John Mackey, Whole Foods Market co-founder and CEO. “Together, we have already lowered prices on many items, and this offering makes Prime customers’ lives even easier.”

Amazon acquired Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in September 2017.

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