Content about Economics

January 6, 2014

Shopko is the latest retailer to offer prescriptions at no upfront cost to customers who have enrolled in the new health insurance marketplaces but haven't received their identification cards.

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Shopko is the latest retailer to offer prescriptions at no upfront cost to customers who have enrolled in the new health insurance marketplaces but haven't received their identification cards.

The retail chain said Monday that it would offer supplies of prescriptions in the interim to customers who could provide proof of enrollment. The chain operates 326 stores in the Midwest, Rocky Mountain, North Central and Pacific Northwest regions.

December 23, 2013

The chief executive of Target is reaching out to consumers in the wake of the widespread hacking of credit and debit card data at Target stores that the company confirmed last week.

MINNEAPOLIS — The chief executive of Target is reaching out to consumers in the wake of the widespread hacking of credit and debit card data at Target stores that the company confirmed last week.

In a statement on the mass-merchandise retailer's website, president, chairman and CEO Gregg Steinhafel sought to ameliorate customers' worries about the possibility that their cards were compromised. He emphasized that the issue had been "identified and eliminated," while the retailer extended a 10% discount to customers who shopped at its stores on Saturday and Sunday.

December 16, 2013

More Americans now say they are loosening the purse strings in advance of the holiday season, and fewer say they are tightening their belts, according to a recent survey.

NEW YORK — More Americans now say they are loosening the purse strings in advance of the holiday season, and fewer say they are tightening their belts, according to a recent Citi national survey released Monday. Only 35% said they would be spending less than last year, reflecting the lowest level of holiday budget cutbacks since the financial crisis. As many as 63% of Americans plan to spend more (11%) or the same (52%) on holiday shopping this year.

December 11, 2013

Ulta Beauty posted strong double-digit gains during its third quarter thanks in part to strength in sales of prestige cosmetics and skin care and strong online sales.

BOLINGBROOK, Ill. — Ulta Beauty posted strong double-digit gains during its third quarter thanks in part to strength in sales of prestige cosmetics and skin care and strong online sales.

Sales for the quarter ended Oct. 27 rose 22.4% to $618.8 million. Same-store sales rose 6.8%, including the impact of e-commerce sales.

Net income increased 19.1% to $45.4 million compared with $38.2 million. Income per diluted share rose 18.6% to 70 cents per share, including 2 cents per diluted share related to a severance charge.

November 21, 2013

Across five different product or service attributes analyzed (i.e., price, service agreement, selection, feature or quality) in a Nielsen Global Survey of Loyalty Sentiment, "offering the best price" held the most persuasive power to motivate consumers to swap devotion to a brand, service provider or retailer, Nielsen reported on Monday.

CHICAGO — Across five different product or service attributes analyzed (i.e., price, service agreement, selection, feature or quality) in a Nielsen Global Survey of Loyalty Sentiment, "offering the best price" held the most persuasive power to motivate consumers to swap devotion to a brand, service provider or retailer, Nielsen reported on Monday. 

November 13, 2013

Nearly 60% of global respondents said that loyalty programs were available where they shopped, and of those, 84% said they were more likely to visit those retailers, according to a new study by Nielsen published Tuesday.

NEW YORK — Nearly 60% of global respondents said that loyalty programs were available where they shopped, and of those, 84% said they were more likely to visit those retailers, according to a new study by Nielsen published Tuesday.

November 8, 2013

The drug store sector makes for a sound investment for investors of all stripes, according to a Motley Fool report published Thursday.

NEW YORK — The drug store sector makes for a sound investment for investors of all stripes, according to a Motley Fool report published Thursday

In early morning trading Friday, CVS stock traded at $63.59, up 4 cents; Walgreens at $59.16, down 4 cents; and Rite Aid at $5.17, up 4 cents. 

October 31, 2013

Mylan experienced a slight dip in sales in its third quarter, due primarily to fluctuating currency values, the generic drug maker said Thursday.

PITTSBURGH — Mylan experienced a slight dip in sales in its third quarter, due primarily to fluctuating currency values, the generic drug maker said Thursday.

October 31, 2013

Members of a Minnesota-based health insurer will have the opportunity to receive a $5 Target gift card when they visit one of the retailer's clinics for a flu vaccination.

MINNETONKA, Minn. — Members of a Minnesota-based health insurer will have the opportunity to receive a $5 Target gift card when they visit one of the retailer's clinics for a flu vaccination.

October 18, 2013

Aetna on Thursday announced that Dijuana Lewis is joining the company as EVP responsible for the newly formed Consumer Products and Enterprise Marketing organization.

HARTFORD, Conn. — Aetna on Thursday announced that Dijuana Lewis is joining the company as EVP responsible for the newly formed Consumer Products and Enterprise Marketing organization. In this role, she will be responsible for aligning consumer-focused businesses, products, services and capabilities to deliver a personalized end-to-end consumer experience that positions the company for long-term growth. 

October 18, 2013

One of the casualties associated with the recent government shutdown and game of chicken that legislators played with the nation's debt ceiling is consumer confidence. And this will have significant ramifications coming into the fourth quarter holiday season, especially as the debate over government spending and the debt ceiling crisis has not been resolved but only delayed until January.

Holding the holiday season hostage means Washington has lost big points with big retail, and IRI measured the impact. Reminiscent of recession shopping behaviors, almost two-in-three consumers are cutting back on non-essential spending; half are again gravitating toward private label or other value propositions and two in five are beginning to scour online resources in search of coupons and deals.

One of the casualties associated with the recent government shutdown and game of chicken that legislators played with the nation's debt ceiling is consumer confidence. And this will have significant ramifications coming into the fourth quarter holiday season, especially as the debate over government spending and the debt ceiling crisis has not been resolved but only delayed until January. 

October 18, 2013

Safeway on Friday announced that its board of directors increased the authorized level of the company's stock repurchase program by $2 billion.

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway on Friday announced that its board of directors increased the authorized level of the company's stock repurchase program by $2 billion. Through the end of the third quarter of 2013, Safeway had approximately $0.8 billion remaining under its previously authorized stock repurchase program.

Safeway's stock repurchase authorization does not have an expiration date, and the timing of repurchases will depend on market conditions. 

October 16, 2013

According to IRI's Q3 2013 MarketPulse survey results released Tuesday, 85% of American consumers were aware of the looming debt ceiling crisis and of the government shutdown, which is clearly impacting their views of their personal finances, including their approach to grocery shopping.

CHICAGO — According to IRI's Q3 2013 MarketPulse survey results released Tuesday, 85% of American consumers were aware of the looming debt ceiling crisis and of the government shutdown, which is clearly impacting their views of their personal finances, including their approach to grocery shopping. 

October 16, 2013

What helps build loyalty, but is not considered a loyalty program? What is fun, exciting and rewarding, and at the same time strategic, planned and designed to drive trips and/or purchases? Gamification. It’s the latest buzzword among brand marketers, and it’s gaining traction as early adopters begin to revolutionize the way customer engagement is done.

CHICAGO — What helps build loyalty, but is not considered a loyalty program? What is fun, exciting and rewarding, and at the same time strategic, planned and designed to drive trips and/or purchases?

Gamification. It’s the latest buzzword among brand marketers, and it’s gaining traction as early adopters begin to revolutionize the way customer engagement is done.

October 14, 2013

Dutch supermarket operator Royal Ahold has bought back more than a quarter of the shares it intends to as part of a share-repurchase program announced earlier this year.

ZAANDAM, Netherlands — Dutch supermarket operator Royal Ahold has bought back more than a quarter of the shares it intends to as part of a share-repurchase program announced earlier this year.

The company said Monday that it had bought back 2.23 million for $38.8 million. The purchases are part of the $678 million buyback program announced in February and increased by $2.03 billion in June.

The total amount repurchased so far is 42.8 million shares, for a total price of $711.9 million.

October 10, 2013

The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index moved down again in September, showing the second month of small declines. The index tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of future consumer spending.

NEW YORK — The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index moved down again in September, showing the second month of small declines. The index tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of future consumer spending.

October 8, 2013

Consumers paid more for prescriptions as the country's economy recovered from the recession, according to a new study.

WASHINGTON — Consumers paid more for prescriptions as the country's economy recovered from the recession, according to a new study.

According to the study, conducted by researchers at the Health Care Cost Institute and published in this month's issue of the journal Health Affairs, per-person spending on prescriptions rose by 3.3% between 2007 and 2011. The study was based on analysis of spending by 40 million people for each year studied, using data provided by health insurers Aetna, Humana and UnitedHealthcare.

October 7, 2013

Shoppers in the United States plan on spending an average of $646 on gifts this holiday season, representing an 11% increase over the $582 they planned to spend, on average, in 2012, according to Accenture’s annual holiday shopping survey. The forecast uptick is more optimistic than other holiday surveys released to date.

Shoppers in the United States plan on spending an average of $646 on gifts this holiday season, representing an 11% increase over the $582 they planned to spend, on average, in 2012, according to Accenture’s annual holiday shopping survey. The forecast uptick is more optimistic than other holiday surveys released to date.

October 7, 2013

Walgreens on Monday announced Balance Financial, a full suite of integrated financial services that will be launching in phases over the coming months, all built around its new Balance Financial Prepaid MasterCard.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Monday announced Balance Financial, a full suite of integrated financial services that will be launching in phases over the coming months, all built around its new Balance Financial Prepaid MasterCard.

October 3, 2013

With an ongoing need for consumer education and awareness to help people understand their health insurance options under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Walgreens and Chicago-based GoHealth on Thursday announced a nationwide initiative and collaboration to assist customers and help provide a resource for those considering the new health insurance marketplaces.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — With an ongoing need for consumer education and awareness to help people understand their health insurance options under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Walgreens and Chicago-based GoHealth on Thursday announced a nationwide initiative and collaboration to assist customers and help provide a resource for those considering the new health insurance marketplaces.   

October 2, 2013

Supermarket chain Raley's is partnering with a web portal that offers discounts to members of the chain's loyalty card program.

SACRAMENTO — Supermarket chain Raley's is partnering with a web portal that offers discounts to members of the chain's loyalty card program.

Aisle50 announced the partnership with the California-based chain, which will offer it at all its 120 Raley's Bel Air and Nob Hill Foods locations. Aisle50 works by allowing customers to purchase items online and then pick them up in the store, receiving discounts using their loyalty cards.

October 1, 2013

Publix on Tuesday announced its board of directors declared a semi-annual cash dividend of 35 cents per share on its common stock.

LAKELAND, Fla. — Publix on Tuesday announced its board of directors declared a semi-annual cash dividend of 35 cents per share on its common stock.

The dividend will be payable Dec. 2, 2013, either through direct deposit or mailed as a check to stockholders of record as of the close of business Oct. 31, 2013, the grocer stated.

September 30, 2013

The National Community Pharmacists Association on Monday unveiled the Insurance Exchange webpage to help pharmacy staff respond to and engage patients about the new insurance marketplaces.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Monday unveiled the Insurance Exchange webpage to help pharmacy staff respond to and engage patients about the new insurance marketplaces. Access to the resources is available to any NCPA member via the members-only section of www.ncpanet.org. 

September 25, 2013

Next year, 7 million people will be using health insurance marketplaces, and that figure will nearly quadruple in five years, according to a coalition of cancer-focused organizations.

WASHINGTON — Next year, 7 million people will be using health insurance marketplaces, and that figure will nearly quadruple in five years, according to a coalition of cancer-focused organizations.

Patient Services Inc., which includes 18 partnering cancer and patient advocacy organizations, announced Wednesday the launch of the Cancer Insurance Checklist, designed to help people with cancer, a history of the disease or those at risk of getting it, choose insurance plans in the state-based health insurance marketplaces, which will open on Oct. 1.

September 24, 2013

For job security and good salary growth, become a pharmacist or nurse. That's the message from a recent ranking of the most lucrative college majors in Kiplinger magazine.

NEW YORK — For job security and good salary growth, become a pharmacist or nurse. That's the message from a recent ranking of the most lucrative college majors in Kiplinger magazine.