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Sears Holdings moves toward member-based business model

BY Alaric DeArment

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Sears Holdings, the parent company of Kmart and Sears, is looking to shift its business model to one that focuses on members of its Shop Your Way program and their shopping experience, the company said in its third-quarter 2012 earnings report.

"For the third quarter and year-to-date, we improved EBITDA, accelerated our strategic actions and generated significant cash by delivering on the actions we outlined at our annual meeting," Sears Holdings president and CEO Lou D’Ambrosio said. "Our EBITDA improvement in the quarter came from some of our most important categories like appliances, apparel and home services as we introduced new offers, honed pricing, effectively managed costs and implemented better inventory management. We did experience shortfalls, however, in categories like grocery and household and consumer electronics, and are taking actions to improve that performance."

D’Ambrosio said more than half of its revenues at its U.S. Sears stores and Kmart stores come from Shop Your Way members. "Our investments are focused on our members and their experience — at the store, online and mobile — which is why we are investing in integrated retail and our Shop Your Way membership program," D’Ambrosio said.

Sales for the quarter, which ended Oct. 27, were $8.9 billion, a decline of $548 million over third quarter 2011, which the company attributed to having fewer Kmart and Sears stores and lower domestic comps. Kmart had sales of about $3.1 billion, compared with sales of $3.34 billion in third quarter 2011. Sears had sales of $4.7 billion in third quarter 2012, compared with $5 billion in third quarter 2011.

Kmart’s comps for the quarter declined 4.8%, while domestic Sears stores’ comps decreased 1.6%. Sears Canada stores’ comps declined by 5.7%.

The company’s loss for the quarter was $498 million, compared with $410 million in third quarter 2011.

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Meijer partners with ADA in diabetes initiative

BY Alaric DeArment

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Midwestern mass merchandise retailer Meijer will serve as a regional sponsor for an initiative led by the American Diabetes Association, the ADA said.

The group said it had signed a deal whereby Meijer would serve as a regional sponsor for the next five years for the Stop Diabetes Movement in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. Activities will include diabetes camps, walks and others.

"We are thrilled to collaborate with Meijer and increase our efforts to stop diabetes," ADA CEO Larry Hausner said. "It is with sponsors, such as Meijer, that are able to extend our outreach and vision to bring awareness to the communities we serve every day."

The initiative’s goal is to inspire and mobilize the general public, volunteers, donors, corporations and the scientific and medical communities to rally around the ADA’s call to "share, act, learn and give," raising awareness, promoting healthy living and raising money to fund outreach, advocacy and research.

"From healthy foods to athletic gear and exercise equipment to pharmacy services, Meijer is committed to providing healthy living solutions to our customers storewide," Meijer VP pharmacy operations Karen Mankowski said. "This partnership with the American Diabetes Association is just one more way Meijer is helping keep our customers health top-of-mind."


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Twenty-one years supporting JDRF, Walgreens raises $18 million over that period, $1.3 million in 2012

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Walgreens and JDRF on Friday announced that Walgreens’ community-based programs helped raise more than $1.3 million in 2012 for JDRF. The year marked the 21st anniversary of Walgreens’ participation in JDRF’s nationwide campaign to raise funds for research to put an end to diabetes.

During the month of July, as part of the Walgreens Way to Well Commitment, customers at more than 7,500 Walgreens stores could make donations of $1 or more at checkout. 

"Walgreens is proud to support JDRF, and we’re thankful to our customers and employees who have helped raise more than $18 million toward Type 1 diabetes efforts over the past 20 years," stated John Gremer, director of community affairs for Walgreens. 

"The support that Walgreens provides JDRF year after year is remarkable," said Jeffrey Brewer, president and CEO of JDRF. "For more than two decades, their commitment to JDRF’s mission has helped fuel critical research toward preventing, better treating, and curing Type 1 diabetes. We value our collaboration with Walgreens and look forward to the continued growth of Type 1 diabetes research progress."

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