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Stop & Shop answers call of cost-conscious customers

BY Allison Cerra

QUINCY, Mass. — Stop & Shop has reintroduced its Guaranteed Value product line in an effort to help customers on a budget.

The line, which includes about 200 items, touts prices that are an average of 20% to 25% less than national brands. What’s more, 60% of the items cost $2 or less. What’s more, packaging for items that are part of Guaranteed Value have undergone a makeover, with the yellow, blue and red packaging being replaced with a bright orange and white design that highlights the value offered with each product.

“With rising food and gas prices, customers are seeking more savings than ever and our Guaranteed Value products offer customers the ability to save on many of the items they need at prices family budgets demand,” Stop & Shop spokeswoman Suzi Robinson said. “We continue to quality test and improve on all of our Guaranteed Value products to ensure customer satisfaction.”

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Target holds off sale of credit card business

BY DSN STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS — Target announced that it has temporarily suspended its efforts to sell its credit card receivables portfolio. The company said it remains committed to selling the portfolio on appropriate terms, but based on discussions with potential partners the company has determined that it is not in its best interests to finalize a transaction at this time. Later in 2012, the company said it expects to re-engage in discussions with a limited number of potential partners, and expects to be well-positioned to streamline those conversations based on the groundwork established in its 2011 efforts.

Target also announced that it intends to retire the 2008 receivables financing provided by Chase Card Services, a subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase. In 2011, Chase provided Target an option to retire this financing, and this option expires at the end of January. Retiring this financing, prior to its expected payoff in late 2013, will allow Target to market the portfolio when the company resumes partner discussions later in 2012. Target will pay Chase approximately $2.8 billion to retire this financing, along with a make-whole premium that will reduce fourth quarter 2011 earnings per share by approximately 8 cents. Target anticipates it will recoup some or all of the cost of this premium through lower expected interest expense in 2012 and 2013.

“Our desire to sell the portfolio on appropriate terms remains the same today as it was when discussions began, but we believe that now is not the time to finalize a transaction,” Target EVP and CFO Doug Scovanner said. “We believe a pause in discussions until later in 2012, combined with repayment of the Chase Card Services financing, will enable Target to reach an agreement with a high-quality financial partner on acceptable terms.”

In January 2011, Target announced that it intended to actively pursue a sale of its credit card receivables portfolio, and that if an appropriate transaction were to occur it likely would be achieved late in 2011 or early in 2012. The company now believes a transaction could occur in late 2012 or early 2013, about a year later than originally expected.

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Rite Aid presents $15,000 check to Tuesday’s Children

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — A charity for 9/11 victims and their families and victims of terrorism worldwide got a big check from retail pharmacy chain Rite Aid at an event in New York’s Grand Central Terminal Wednesday morning.

Rite Aid presented a $15,000 check to Tuesday’s Children at its store in the train station, with Rite Aid regional VP Paul Perinetti and Tuesday’s Children executive director Terry Sears in attendance. The money came from a two-day event in October in which the retailer delivered flu shots to commuters at the station.

"We’re just thrilled to be able to do this with Tuesday’s Children," Perinetti told Drug Store News.

Perinetti said he "absolutely" saw similar benefits happening in the future.

"We’re very passionate about what we do, and having partners like Rite Aid just makes it so much better," Sears told Drug Store News.

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