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Whole Foods regional HQ moves to Boulder

BY Tara Smith

BOULDER, Colo. Whole Foods relocated its Rocky Mountain regional headquarters to the former building of Boulder’s Wild Oats Markets, regional president Will Paradise said Friday.

The move follows the Austin, Texas-based grocer’s Aug. 28 acquisition of the Boulder natural products grocery chain, installing its 40-person regional staff into the refurbished top floor of the 82,500-square-foot Twenty Ninth Street building. The company intends to hire 40 more people. The acquisition has left 248 former Wild Oats employees in transition—it is not certain how many will remain. Some have left, others laid off and more are facing job cuts that will take place within coming weeks.

Another problem facing Paradise is Whole Foods’ plans to lease the first floor of the building and the unopened flagship grocery store. The company hopes to rent the grocery space to a non-grocery retailer, a move that doesn’t sit well with Twenty Ninth Street’s owners.

Having a grocery anchor “is very important to us,” Lain Adams, property manager at Twenty Ninth Street, said Friday.

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Revolution Health Group to manage advertising sales on drugstore.com

BY Michael Johnsen

BELLEVUE, Wash. Drugstore.com and Revolution Health Group on Thursday announced an agreement whereby Revolution Health will aggregate drugstore.com’s traffic as part of the Revolution Health Network and manage advertising sales for drugstore.com.

“Deepening the relationship with drugstore.com enables Revolution Health to provide a tremendous value proposition for the growing number of advertisers seeking to reach consumers in the rapidly expanding health category,” stated Steve Case, chairman and chief executive officer of Revolution Health. “This exclusive agreement also allows us to better integrate our health and medical content, interactive tools and online community with the variety of health products and offerings at drugstore.com. The end result is that we are making it easier for people to take action to improve their health while rapidly expanding our reach.”

“This venture is a natural extension of drugstore.com’s position as a significant player in e-commerce,” added Dawn Lepore, chairman and chief executive officer of drugstore.com. “We are pleased to be building on our current partnership with Revolution Health to capitalize on the rapidly-growing opportunity for health- related advertising, thus adding a new revenue stream to the drugstore.com mix as we seek to capitalize on the e-commerce platform we’ve built over the past decade.”

The alliance means the Revolution Health Network now reaches more than 9 million unique visitors each month, and generates more than 100 million monthly page views—making it the third largest health information property, based on comScore’s recent rankings.

It also means drugstore.com is now positioned to develop a new revenue stream from high margin advertising sales, as the Revolution Health Network will deliver a significant quantity of targeted impressions to advertisers of an important demographic—women who actively manage their health online.

Previously, Revolution Health and drugstore.com had established a relationship based on e-commerce—drugstore.com powers RevolutionHealth.com’s online store.

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Rite Aid announces Sept. sales increase

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid Corporation Thursday morning announced a same-store sales increased of 0.7 (which does not include the Brooks and Eckerd operations) for the four weeks ended Sept. 29.

Pharmacy same-store sales increased 1.3 percent, which included an approximate 395 basis points negative impact from new generic introductions, while front-end same-store sales decreased 0.5 percent.

Total drugstore sales for the four-week period, which does include results from Brooks/Eckerd, increased 52 percent to $2 billion compared to $1.3 billion for the same period last year. Prescription revenue accounted for 68.6 percent of drugstore sales, and third party prescription revenue represented approximately 95.9 percent of pharmacy sales.

Same-store sales for the 30-week period ended Sept. 29 increased 1.6 percent (again, without Brooks/Eckerd results), consisting of a 2 percent lift in pharmacy same store sales increase and a 0.9 percent increase in front-end same store sales. Year-to-date sales totaled $13 billion, representing a 31.4 percent increase.

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