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Sam’s Club offering heart health screenings

BY Alaric DeArment

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Sam’s Club will offer free heart health screenings at 563 of its stores on Saturday, the club retailer said.

The screenings, taking place at stores with pharmacies, will include tests valued at up to $100 for glucose, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, blood pressure, body mass index and vision screenings.

"Sam’s Club reinforces our commitment to health and wellness by educating our communities about the importance of a healthy heart," Sam’s Club SVP health and wellness Jill Turner-Mitchael said. "In honor of February’s Heart Health Awareness Month, free Sam’s Club health screenings offer individuals the opportunity to manage their heart health by first learning where they stand with several cardiovascular disease risk factors."


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Rite Aid promotes Valentine’s Day shopping for women

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid is promoting itself as a Valentine’s Day shopping destination for women, the retail pharmacy chain said.

"History has shown us that, at more than a week to go, women are buying the majority of greeting cards, plush toys and other sentimental gifts that their families so look forward to receiving on Valentine’s Day," Rite Aid EVP merchandising Tony Montini said. "We’ve got everything on her list, making for a convenient and stress-free shopping experience, as well as a few surprises yet to come for the men who’ve yet to start their shopping."

According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, women will spend an average of $88.74 for Valentine’s Day this year.

Rite Aid touted items like American Greetings cards, particularly the Premier line, and interactive Facebook greetings, video craft tutorials and a Twitter contest. For that contest, starting Feb. 11, people following the company’s Twitter handle @riteaid can retweet #ShareTheLove for a chance to win a mystery gift, the company said.

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Costco total sales, comps rise in January

BY Alaric DeArment

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Costco Wholesale Corp.’s sales increased 7% in January compared with January 2012, the club retailer said Thursday.

Costco reported sales for the five weeks that ended Sunday of $9.35 billion, compared with $8.74 billion a year ago. The month was one day shorter than last year due to the timing of the New Year holiday, which reduced total and same-store sales by about 2%, the company said. Comps in U.S. stores were up by 6%.

For the first 22 weeks of the fiscal year that ended Sunday, Costco reported sales of $43.77 billion, compared with $40.18 billion during the same period last year.

Costco’s stock was down by 11 cents in morning trading on the NASDAQ after opening at $101.77.

Though the increases in total sales and comps were about 1% above his estimates, analyst John Heinbockel of Guggenheim Securities rated the club retailer’s stock at "neutral," saying that January sales were "solid and generally in line with expectations" while expressing concern that Wall Street estimates of the company’s earnings per share in 2013 were too high.


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