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Sticking with what works

BY DSN STAFF

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — Walmart is convinced its sales woes can be solved by a renewed emphasis on everyday low prices and breadth of assortment. As Walmart looks to execute those strategies, the health-and-wellness category will continue to be impacted as it is a key area where favorable trends exist and it is easier to demonstrate price separation.

(THE NEWS: Walmart to refocus on U.S. unit as sales decline. For the full story, click here)

“First, our new Humana drug program enrolled more people that we expected. This provided some tailwind toward the end of the fourth quarter and will continue to do so this fiscal year. Second, the cold-and-cough season is picking up traction and we’re well prepared,” said Walmart U.S. president and CEO Bill Simon.

As for Sam’s Club, it relying on enhancements to the pharmacy component of a loyalty program known as eValues to promoted upgrades to its $100 Plus membership level. Sam’s Club president and CEO, Brian Cornell, said Sam’s simplified the pharmacy component so that those who participate in the eValues program by upgrading to the $100 Plus membership level are able to receive an across the board 8% discount on branded pharmaceuticals and a 40% discount on generic product that are not part of the $4 or $10 formulary.

“Our members understand it clearly and it is paying off with upgrades,” Cornell said.

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MidWest introduces new gardening gear for ladies

BY Allison Cerra

CHILLICOTHE, Mo. — MidWest Gloves & Gear has introduced a new line of fashionable garden wear for women.

MidWest said its gardening colors line features raspberry red, lime green and teal blue, used as solid colors, unique stripe designs and in combinations. The lineup includes a waist apron, canvas gloves and a sun visor with an adjustable headband.

“We are quite proud of the coordinated color statements made with this new group of products. They are good-quality items and they are visually exciting and fun,” said MidWest president Stephen Franke.

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Kroger puts spotlight on flu vaccinations

BY Allison Cerra

CINCINNATI — Kroger is highlighting immunization against the flu this season on the company’s website.

Although Kroger has provided a triple protection flu vaccine — which protects against H1N1, H3N2 and influenza B viruses — to customers since September 2010 at its 1,900 in-store pharmacies and 77 Little Clinic locations, the retailer noted its inoculation offering on its site with a flu facts page that features a "The Flu ends with U!" header and links to Flu.gov and other sites.

During the holiday season, Kroger offered free flu shot vouchers to underinsured and uninsured customers.

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