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Sam’s Club new credit card offering will boost membership value

BY Michael Johnsen

Sam’s Club recently announced a credit card cash back program that gives members the opportunity to earn up to $5,000 annually. Marking one of the biggest changes in membership in more than a decade, the club operator in one fell swoop boosted its appeal to loyal Sam's Club members and close the gap between Sam's Club and its chief rival, Costco. 

The news comes off of a first-quarter performance that Sam's Club  president and CEO Rosalind Brewer characterized as “one of our more difficult quarters.” While the club operator was negatively impacted by weather and a reduction in public assistance, Costco emerged under the same conditions with a positive same-store sales comp figure. 

So the card is more about adding value to Sam's Club membership. “We’re always looking for ways to find time and money-saving solutions for our members," Brewer stated in a release. "The 5-3-1 Sam’s Club program and co-branded MasterCard mean industry-leading savings and security innovation for today’s consumer.”

But adding value isn't the only accomplishment of the newly introduced, cutting-edge card. The innovation referenced by Brewer, and the news hook that grabbed the overall attention of the media, guards against credit card fraud. Each credit card has an embedded chip that makes the card more difficult to duplicate. Following Target's and Neiman Marcus' recent challenges with credit card security, the issue has become a top concern among today’s shoppers. And Sam’s Club is the first mass retailer to actively implement chip-enabled technology. 

According to reports, the United States has been slow to adopt the chip-enabled technology, chiefly because of the cost associated with replacing member cards and the POS terminals that can read the cards. 

 

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Teva announces generic Activella tabs

BY Ryan Chavis

NORTH WALES, Penn. — Teva Pharmaceuticals announced the launch of Mimvey Lo (estradiol and norethindrone acetate tablets, USP), the generic equivalent to Activella tablets. The drug is used to treat certain symptoms of menopause.

"Our customers count on Teva for a continuous supply of new generic products,” said Maureen Cavanaugh, SVP U.S. Generics Sales & Marketing. “With the launch of Mimvey Lo, we add another quality product to our broad line of affordable generic pharmaceuticals.”

 

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Senate confirms Sylvia Burwell as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Senate confirmed former Walmart executive Sylvia Burwell as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday by a vote of 78-17, according to several reports.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Burwell is being heralded for her management experience. "Burwell … brings deep management experience to the job that former colleagues say will help her lead the agency’s big projects," WSJ wrote. "Chief among them is ensuring that HealthCare.gov runs smoothly during this fall’s insurance enrollment period."

Burwell is due to be sworn in Monday. 

She leaves her post as director of the Office of Management and Budget, WSJ reported. She previously held high-level positions in the Clinton White House, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Walmart Foundation, but has never held elected office.

 

 

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