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Wal-Mart to cash stimulus checks for free

BY DSN STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. With Wal-Mart’s motto of ‘Save Money. Live Better,” it’s no surprise that the retailer has announced new incentives to get shoppers to spend their stimulus checks at its stores. The company announced that it will cash the rebates for free—with no purchase required—and will offer shoppers new rollbacks on items such as shampoo, breakfast juice and cereal.

As an added incentive to get shoppers to spend their checks at Wal-Mart stores, the company said it will refund the purchase fee on its Wal-Mart MoneyCard when any portion of the economic stimulus check is loaded onto the card.

Additionally, Sam’s Club will cash checks for free for its members. It will also offer its own economic stimulus bonus in the form of a $40 gift of membership on select product purchases May 11 through May 31 so new members will save all year long.

“We’re looking at this through the eyes of our customers, who need low prices all the time,” said John Fleming, evp and chief merchandising officer of Wal-Mart Stores, U.S. “And that’s what we’ve always done best,” he added.

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Rite Aid posts positive monthly results

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid on Thursday posted a same-store sales increase of 0.5 percent for the four weeks ended April 26, representing a pharmacy same-store sales lift of 1.8 percent and a 1.7 percent drop in front-end comparable-store results—reflecting the shift of Easter from April to March this year.

Front-end same store sales for the combined March and April sales periods increased 1.9 percent, Rite Aid stated.

The same-store sales results do not yet include last year’s acquired Brooks/Eckerd stores.

Total drug store sales for the four-week period (including the Brooks/Eckerd store base) increased 46.9 percent to $2 billion. Prescription revenue accounted for 68.3 percent of drugstore sales, and third party prescription revenue represented 96.2 percent of pharmacy sales.

Year-to-date same-store sales for the eight-week period increased 1.6 percent, consisting of a 1.4 percent lift in pharmacy same-store sales and a 1.9 percent increase in front-end same store sales.

Total drug store sales for the eight-week period 2008 increased 48.8 percent to $4 billion.

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Publix reports increase in Q1 sales, earnings

BY Michael Johnsen

LAKELAND, Fla. Publix on Thursday reported $6.2 billion in sales for the first quarter of 2008, a 6 percent increase. Net earnings for the first quarter were $343.2 million, compared to $317.6 million in 2007, an increase of 8.1 percent.

Comparable-store sales for the first quarter of 2008 increased 3.6 percent.

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