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  • 1/11/2024

    CVS Health reportedly to close ‘dozens’ of pharmacies in Target stores

    cvs health sign

    CVS Health is trimming its footprint inside Target.

    The pharmacy retailer and health care company plans to close “dozens” of its pharmacies inside Target stores between February and April, reported The Wall Street Journal. Employees affected by the shutterings will be offered comparable roles within CVS, and prescriptions will be transferred to a nearby CVS pharmacy.

    The closures comes as CVS  has been working to reduce costs as it continues to transform itself into a major health care company. In November 2021, the company said it planned to close approximately 300 stores annually during the next three years “to reduce store density in certain locations.”

    CVS, which operates approximately 9,000 stores nationwide, operates a pharmacy in about 1,800 of Target’s 1,956 stores in the U.S., reported CNBC. (In December 2015, CVS Health completed a deal to acquire all Target pharmacies and retail clinics across 47 states.)

    In March 2023, CVS completed its approximate $8 billion acquisition of Signify Health. And in February, it entered into a deal to Oak Street Health in a deal valued at approximately $10.6 billion. Oak Street operates primary care centers that service people with Medicare Advantage plans.

  • 1/11/2024

    Survey: 'Wardrobing' contributing to retailers' returns

    shipping returns

    Fraudulent returns had a significant impact on returns this holiday season, with a quarter of U.S. consumers engaging in a practice called "wardrobing."

    One-in-four U.S. consumers bought an an item with the intent to return it ("wardrobing") after use during the 2023 holiday season, according to a Harris Poll survey in partnership with Forter of more than 2,000 U.S. and more than 1,000 U.K. consumers.  

    The practice is most common with millennials and Gen Z. Nearly half (47%) of these return abusers in the U.S. this holiday season are between the ages of 18 and 34. 

    In other findings, 56% of U.S. consumers admit to wardrobing in the past. Consumers admit to wardrobing apparel (36%), footwear (25%) and personal electronics (19%). The vast majority of return abusers are between the ages of 18 and 34. 

    Simple, consumer-friendly return policies are becoming more important for online retailers and merchants to have, according to the poll data. An overwhelming 70% of U.S.consumers said they will stop shopping with a brand if their return policy becomes too complicated. More than half (57%) of U.S. consumers will stop purchasing from a brand that charges for returns.

    A similar survey from SAP Emarsys Customer Engagement showed that nearly nine-in-10 (88%) of U.S. consumers have stopped shopping with a retailer because of a paid returns policy being introduced. Over half (54%) said they actively avoid retailers that charge to return items.

  • 1/11/2024

    7-Eleven to acquire 204 Stripes stores in $1 billion deal

    7-Eleven logo

    7-Eleven, Inc. is expanding its footprint. 

    The convenience store giant has entered into an agreement to acquire 204 stores from Sunoco LP, which includes Stripes convenience stores and Laredo Taco Company restaurants. The deal is valued at approximately $1 billion. 

    The stores being acquired are located across West Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. The locations will join the more than 13,000 7-Eleven, Speedway and Stripes locations that 7-Eleven currently operates, franchises and/or licenses across the U.S. and Canada. With the addition of the stores, 7-Eleven will own and operate all Stripes and Laredo Taco Company locations across the United States.

    "Stripes and Laredo Taco Company have been a great addition to our family of brands since they initially joined us back in 2018," said Joe DePinto, CEO of 7-Eleven, Inc. "We're excited to welcome the remaining Stripes stores and Laredo Taco Company Restaurants to the family, and we look forward to serving even more customers across West Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma."

    The transaction will close after satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including necessary regulatory clearance.  

    "Stripes and Laredo Taco Company have been a great addition to our family of brands since they initially joined us back in 2018," said Joe DePinto, CEO of 7-Eleven, Inc. "We're excited to welcome the remaining Stripes stores and Laredo Taco Company Restaurants to the family, and we look forward to serving even more customers across West Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma."

    Sunoco said it will use proceeds from the sale to reduce debt and "execute on future growth opportunities."

  • 1/9/2024

    Big Y names new CEO

    Big Y

    A third-generation family member is taking the reins of Big Y Foods.

    Michael D’Amour, COO of Big Y since 2019, will transition to the role of president and CEO, effective Jan. 26.  With the change, current CEO Charles L. D’Armour will become executive chairman of the board. He is the son of Big Y co-founder Gerald D’Amour and was appointed president in 2006 and CEO in 2019. 

    In other moves,  Richard D. Bossie, who currently serves as senior VP of retail operations and customer experience, has been named VP and COO.

    “For nearly 90 years, Big Y has been proud to honor the legacy of our founders, Paul and Gerry D’Amour, as a family company focused on our employees, our customers and the communities we serve,” Charles L. D’Amour said in a press release reported by MassLive.   “I have worked closely with Michael D’Amour, other members of our 3rd generation of family members along with the rest of our leadership team who are all well poised to lead our company and continue that legacy of service. I have the utmost trust and confidence in Michael and Rick to continue our company’s growth and success.

    Based in Springfield, Mass., Big Y operates 84 locations throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut, including 70 supermarkets, Table & Vine Fine Wines and Liquors and 13 Big Y Express gas and convenience locations. It is one of the largest independently owned supermarket chains in New England. 

  • 1/8/2024

    Expert Commentary: Red Sea disruption poses challenges for U.S. businesses

    Cargo imports

    The events in the Red Sea are already causing a serious headache for U.S. businesses in both the short- and long-term.

    In the short-term, ocean-freight costs for shipments bound for the East Coast from China will continue to increase. Prices are already up by 52% since the crisis began, as ships look to reroute around South Africa as part of their trans-Atlantic route, leading to a delay of up to three weeks. 

    While East Coast shipments are bearing the brunt, businesses are increasingly looking to reroute shipments entirely to go to West Coast ports, pushing up prices there as freight firms adjust their capacities. Businesses are now looking at spending $1,000 more for West Coast shipments than they were before the situation in the Red Sea began.

    Businesses will be facing delays in receiving stock, which will have the most significant impact on those selling seasonal goods. In the longer-term, lead times will increase for imported goods, meaning businesses will have to shift their normal decision-making timescales to ensure they have adequate stock.

    It is impossible to predict what will happen next, and, with the geopolitical situation in the region showing no signs of abating soon, businesses need to brace themselves for long-term disruption and restart conversations around onshoring or nearshoring to boost resilience.

    Matthias Menck is principal consultant at supply chain and procurement consulting firm at Proxima.

  • 1/8/2024

    L’Occitane names new CEO

    L'Occitane metaverse

    L’Occitane is making a change to its senior leadership structure.

    The sustainable beauty and skincare company said that the responsibilities of CEO and group managing director will be combined into one role, effective April 1. André J. Hoffmann, acting CEO, has decided to step down from the role.  Laurent Marteau, the group's current managing director, has been appointed CEO of L’Occitane Group. 

    As part of the transition. Hoffmann will remain an executive director and board member and continue to focus on strategic, policy and leadership matters within the company

    Marteau has over 20 years of experience in the global beauty industry. He worked for the LVMH Group in various senior management roles and countries for 15 years before joining the La Prairie Group in 2014 as VP for global travel retail & special channels.

    In 2020, he expanded his responsibilities and was made VP for Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa. Marteau joined the L'occitance Group as group managing director in 2022.

    “As our group grows, we need to evolve,' said Reinold Geiger, chairman, L’Occitane Group. “Laurent embodies the L'Occitane Group's entrepreneurial mindset and deep commitment to people and nature. His in-depth knowledge of the global market, combined with an inclusive leadership style, makes him a strong CEO to bring together a multi-brand and multicultural Group delivering value for all our stakeholders.'

    L'Occitane operates approximately 3,000 stores across the globe. 


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