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Wal-Mart encourages early toy shopping

BY DSN STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. Wal-Mart today announced a number of rollbacks on the items it considers the “Top 12 Toys of Christmas,” in order to encourage early holiday shopping.

“Fulfilling her child’s wish list is always first in Mom’s mind, and right now she’s scouting the aisles to see what’s interesting, and what’s affordable,” said Wal-Mart chief toy officer Laura Phillips. “So we’re starting early and aggressively with unbeatable prices on the items we know are on those lists.”

Toys with price reductions include Tonka Trucks, Littlest Pet Shop Digital Pets and Spider-Man Ride-on. According to Wal-Mart, customers will see price drops of 10% to 50% on select toys.

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Walgreen’s 4Q Drops

BY Allison Cerra

CHICAGO One of the nation­­’s biggest drug store chain operators announced that its fourth-quarter profit dropped nearly 4 percent, according to Mo­nday’s reports.

Walgreens explained that because of lower reimbursements for popular generic drugs and increased store and staff costs, its net income tumbled.

According to the company’s earnings report, total expenses increased by more than 11 percent to $12.8 billion, which chairman Jeffrey Rein said was out of line with reimbursements the company received. Prescription sales accounted for nearly two-thirds of the company’s business.

“Managing both expenses and lower reimbursements on some generic drugs is my top priority,” he said in a company release. “We’re going to fix this, and at the same time continue our aggressive growth plan.”

While company’s revenues rose more than 10 percent to $13.4 billion from $12.2 billion, its net income slipped to $396.5 million, compared to $412.3 million earnings at the same time last year. 

For the year, the company said that its earnings increased by to $2.04 billion ($2.03 per share), compared with $1.75 billion ($1.72 per share).

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Wyeth names Poussot next CEO

BY Drew Buono

NEW YORK Wyeth has named a replacement for its retiring chief executive officer Robert Essner. Chief operating officer Bernard Poussot will take the reigns effective Jan. 1, according to Reuters.

Poussot will face a number of challenges including generic competition of Wyeth’s blockbuster drugs Protonix and Effexor. The key will be how the company develops its new drugs and how quickly it can get them on the market.

The company also announced that its board approved an increase in its previously authorized share repurchase program to up to $5 billion, which includes about $1.2 billion in stock buybacks already completed this year.

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