Walgreens pledges $250,000 toward disaster recovery, re-opens two-thirds of pharmacies in area
DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Wednesday pledged $250,000 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund to supplement the organization’s support of East Coast communities recovering from Hurricane Sandy.
The company also is donating three semitrailer truckloads of bottled water to a Red Cross facility in New Brunswick, N.J., to distribute throughout the disaster area. Walgreens stores in the region also are donating merchandise in response to community requests that have come in since the storm’s impact.
Walgreens continues its effort to serve customers by reopening stores, keeping 24-hour stores in operation and restocking shelves. By 2 p.m. EST Wednesday, more than two-thirds of the 750 stores initially closed due to the storm had reopened, leaving only 239 still closed. More than a dozen were open without power, and 55 were open despite light or moderate damage. Numerous stores are operating with electric generators, 180 of which were stationed in advance of the storm for rapid deployment.
Walgreens has nearly 1,400 stores in the impacted area.
Major Walgreens distribution centers, including facilities in Windsor, Conn., Bethlehem, Penn., and Maspeth, N.Y. — the latter serving Duane Reade stores — have full power restored and are operating.
Store status information is regularly updated throughout the emergency and is available online at http://news.walgreens.com.
Fred’s records slight uptick in 3Q sales
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Fred’s Super Dollar on Thursday reported an increase of 1% in total sales to $450.6 million for its third quarter ended Oct. 27. Comparable store sales for the quarter declined 2.5% compared with an increase of 1.5% in the third quarter of 2011.
"We were pleased with the response to our increased marketing initiatives that began in October, resulting in positive customer traffic and higher general merchandising comparable store sales," stated Bruce Efird, CEO Fred’s. "One of our key end-of-year programs was the initiation of a $1 down holiday season layaway program, which dramatically increased layaway sales during the month," he noted. "Also, we continued to see growth in script counts in our pharmacy department during October, but this was more than offset by the sales impact of the ongoing brand-name-to-generic conversion. The effect of this shift on total and comparable store sales was 250 basis points in October."
Fred’s increased its projected earnings per share for the year to fall in the range of 96 cents to $1.02 per share. "With the implementation of several key new merchandising and marketing initiatives in the fourth quarter, and the positive impact of the forward shifting of layaway sales and earnings, we continue to project a double-digit earnings per share improvement for 2012," Efird said.
During the month, Fred’s opened three stores and one express pharmacy location and closed one store.
CVS Caremark donates more than $100K to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts
WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark announced on Wednesday a donation of more than $100,000 to the American Red Cross National Disaster Relief Fund to provide support to communities that have been affected by Hurricane Sandy.
A donation of $50,000 was made from the company’s foundation, the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust. In addition, CVS/pharmacy is providing snacks and bottled water valued at more than $50,000 to distribute in communities in New Jersey that were impacted by the hurricane.
"Many of our communities on the East Coast were affected by Hurricane Sandy," stated Eileen Howard Boone, SVP corporate communications and community relations for CVS Caremark. "We are deeply concerned about the impact this storm has had on our customers and colleagues, and we are committed to supporting relief efforts and assisting first-responders, including our partners at the American Red Cross, in any way we can."
CVS Caremark is also supporting its employees who have been affected by the hurricane through the CVS Caremark Employee Relief Fund. Launched in 2011, the Employee Relief Fund provides short-term, immediate financial relief to employees who’ve suffered significant hardship as a result of a natural disaster, family death, medical emergency or other unforeseen events.
The American Red Cross is helping people across 13 states with shelter, food and comfort as part of a huge disaster response to Sandy. More than 9,000 people spent Tuesday night in 171 Red Cross shelters, and workers have served more than 100,800 meals and snacks. The organization has deployed more than 2,300 disaster workers from all over the country. Nearly 200 response vehicles also have been deployed and are beginning to circulate through communities distributing meals, water and snacks.
"Hurricane Sandy’s winds, rains and snow brought devastation and uncertainty to millions of people; and thanks to the support of donors, such as CVS Caremark, the American Red Cross is providing immediate relief and staying to help as people begin to take steps to recovery," added Roger Lowe, SVP communications for the American Red Cross. "We’re grateful for CVS Caremark’s dedication to the Red Cross mission."