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Walgreens increases regular quarterly dividend

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill.  — Walgreens Boots Alliance on Thursday announced that its board of directors has declared a regular quarterly dividend of 37.5 cents per share, an increase of 4.2% over the year-ago period.

Walgreens Boots Alliance and its predecessor company, Walgreens, have paid a dividend in 337 straight quarters (more than 84 years) and have raised the dividend for 41 consecutive years.

The dividend is payable March 10, 2017 to stockholders of record as of Feb. 15, 2017.

 

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Reports: Albertsons calls off Price Chopper deal

BY Brian Berk

NEW YORK — Albertsons decided to drop its bid to buy Golub, parent company of Schenectady, N.Y’s, Price Chopper chain, according to several news reports.

Neither company confirmed merger talks, but Drug Store News reported on Nov. 30 the two companies could be nearing a $1 billion deal.

Golub currently operates 136 Price Chopper and Market 32 stores in New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. It launched as a supermarket chain in 1932 after Russian immigrant Lewis Golub opened a wholesale grocery warehouse in 1922. 

Albertsons completed its $9.2 billion merger with Safeway two years prior to these merger discussions.

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Study: Retailers grow omnichannel in response to consumer demand

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy
The omnichannel evolution has begun — and more retailers are adopting the business strategy to better meet shoppers’ needs.
 
That’s according to “Retail Insight: Moving Beyond Omnichannel,” a report from SPS Commerce and conducted by Retail Systems Research. The study, which is based on responses from more than 500 retailers, suppliers and logistics firms worldwide, said that more than 35% of retailers are on track with their omnichannel execution, up nearly 200% year-over-year.
 
Delving deeper into the actions of retail winners (defined as companies growing 4.5% or more annually), this group continues to advance their lead in omnichannel “by forging closer collaboration with their trading community to deliver the speed and consistency across channels that consumers want and expect,” said Nikki Baird, managing partner at Retail Systems Research.
 
Consumers are definitely calling the shots in this increasingly omnichannel market. In fact, more than 75% of respondents cited consumer demands as the top factor shaping their business over the next five years. 
 
“Shopper demands for a personalized and seamless experience across all channels are outpacing the retail industry’s ability to keep pace,” said Peter Zaballos, senior VP and chief marketing officer at SPS Commerce. “The findings from this year’s industry benchmark report demonstrate the urgency of streamlining order fulfillment, the importance of real-time inventory visibility and the critical role accurate item information plays in delivering an engaging consumer shopping experience.”
 
Of course, there are still challenges to overcome. For example, order fulfillment execution continues to be difficult due to dramatically increasing order volume and complexity. Specifically, legacy systems are the top factor hindering omnichannel execution among 29% of companies, data revealed.
 
It is a factor that needs to be solved with 53% of respondents expecting increased online orders; 43% expecting increased item attribute sets; 55% expecting assortment expansion, and 40% planning to increase drop ship vendors, the study said.
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