Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Few Americans used retail clinics through 2007, study shows


CLINICS-RETAIL/A small number of Americans have used in-store health clinics according to a study released on Monday by the Commonwealth Fund and conducted by the Center for Studying Health System Change.

Only 2.3 percent of American families, or nearly 3.4 million families, had used a retail clinic, according to the group’s 2007 Health Tracking Household Survey.

“While overall use of retail clinics remains modest, families with unmet medical needs tend to use the clinics more than the rest of the population,” said Ha T. Tu, M.P.A., an HSC senior researcher and coauthor of the study.

According to the report, there were more than 900 retail clinics in 30 states at the end of 2007, up from just about 60 in 18 states at the beginning of 2006.  The study does not include 2008 data.  Among a variety of retail clinic operators, Walgreen owns the Take Care brand of clinics and rival CVS runs MinuteClinic.

I’m Todd Davis and here’s my Social Security number


lifelock.jpgGiving out your Social Security number on national television is bound to attract trouble. But that hasn’t stopped Lifelock Chief Executive Todd Davis from flashing his social – 457-55-5462 – on television, the Internet, and print ads.

Davis says he’s so certain Lifelock will protect your identity and preserve your credit he gives out his social security number to prove it. He’s gotten around 100 dings on his credit, including people trying to get loans under aliases like Jabba T. Hutt.

Check Out Line: Long on Longs shares?


walgreen.jpgCheck out Longs Drugs’ share price now that it’s got a new suitor.

Longs, the drug store chain with a heavy concentration of stores in California, got a surprise offer from Walgreen late on Friday that topped its previous buyout agreement with rival CVS Caremark.
Longs shares opened on Monday ahead more than 5 percent to $75.80, slightly above the Walgreen offer of $75 per share and proving that investors believe they can’t lose as the two biggest U.S. pharmacy operators battle over an acquisition.
At the very least, analysts say, CVS will have to sweeten its earlier $71.50 per share bid, despite its protestations to the contrary. And that doesn’t even take into account the possibility that Walgreen will become even more aggressive to keep Longs out of its rival’s hands.
The Walgreen offer is also lending a helping hand to Longs’ two biggest shareholders, who said on Friday they wouldn’t give up their shares to CVS because the offer price was too low.
What’s clear is that even as Wall Street reels from the downfall of Lehman Brothers and a surprise buyout of Merrill Lynch, a deal for purveyors of Tylenol and toothpaste can still capture some investors attention.

Footnote: Lehman has been advising CVS on the Longs deal, along with Deutsche Bank. Curious how quickly CVS can regroup to make a higher offer, if it should choose to do so?

Drug stores top hot list with acquisitions


(Due to a tabulation error in the research, STORES Magazine has issued a corrected list. This is being corrected to remove Coldwater Creek from the Top 10 list and replace it with Citi Trends at No. 10) 

cvs.jpgThough the retail industry cooled last year to its slowest growth since 2002, a number of retail companies experienced fiery growth, according to the National Retail Federation. The hottest retailers, in general, grew through acquisitions, according to the trade group’s STORES Magazine.