Walgreens (NASDAQ:WBA) and FedEx (NYSE:FDX) announce a long-term partnership to add access to FedEx dropoff and pickup services at thousands of Walgreens locations across the U.S.
The company expect to have the program available later this calendar year after an initial small rollout this spring.
“The addition of Walgreens locations to the existing network of FedEx retail offerings will substantially increase customer access to staffed pickup and dropoff locations and enhance convenient access to FedEx Ground and FedEx Express package shipment and dropoff options," says a top FedEx marketing exec.
Retail execs head down to Florida next week for the closely-watched ICR Conference.
The confab this year arrives at a tumultous time for the sector. A wave of soft holiday period sales reports have set a negative tone amid increasing worries over Trump administration trades policies and border adjustment taxes.
Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Chen Grazutis wants to hear what apparel retailers say about the impact of moving sourcing back to the U.S. On the positive side, some labor wage fear have subsided and inventory levels are better than they were a year ago.
It's unlikely that Q&A at ICR won't delve into Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and the ongoing impact of e-commerce on volume and margins.
Chipotle's (NYSE:CMG) presentation will be one of the bigger events in the restaurant sector, although investors might need their hard hats on with guidance updates/warnings expected from many food chains. Also keep an eye on how restaurant management talks about local sourcing and the shift toward eating local, trends which could bode well for Sysco (NYSE:SYY) and US Foods (NYSE:USFD), tips Bloomberg Intelligence.
Analysts are going to be very busy resetting expectations on Fred's (NASDAQ:FRED) after the company's monster acquisition of 865 Rite Aid stores for $950M. They can take their cues from Fred's management which is already talking up the upside.
"This will be a transformative event for Fred's Pharmacy that will accelerate our healthcare growth strategy through our acquisition of 865 new stores located in highly attractive markets," says Fred's Pharmacy CEO Michael Bloom
The company expects that the acquired stores will be accretive to earnings and generate "substantial" cash flow.
Fred's plans to run the 865 acquired stores under the Rite Aid banner for two years.
The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2017.
Shares of Fred's are under a trading halt. WBA +1.6% premarket. RAD +6.5%. Also keep an eye on Kroger (NYSE:KR) today, as some investors were hoping the grocery chain passed on investing a lot in Rite Aid stores.
CVS Health (NYSE:CVS) is scheduled to hold its Analyst Day event today amid the changing drugstore landscape with Walgreens (NASDAQ:WBA) and Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD) merging.
Jefferies expects CVS management to highlight the company's efforts to improve market share and cut costs, while Barclays notes that details on product introductions and capital allocation will be crucial for investors.
Also watch for a 2017 guidance update from CVS. Consensus estimates currently stand at revenue of $187.8B and EPS of $5.87.
Theranos (Private:THERA) allegedly voided 11.3% of all blood-test reports that it provided to customers of Walgreens (NASDAQ:WBA) stores through a yearslong partnership between the two companies.
When news broke last week that Walgreens had filed a $140M suit against Elizabeth Holmes' now-hobbled unicorn for breach of contact - details were sparse - but a public version of the complaint against Theranos has now been released.
Albertsons and Kroger (NYSE:KR) have emerged as key prospective suitors for Walgreens (NASDAQ:WBA) in its attempts to find a way to satisfy the FTC's review of the company's proposed acquisition of Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD), while CVS (NYSE:CVS) seems to have withdrawn interest, CTFN reports.
Walgreens has not yet "freshened up the package" of store selloffs that it plans to present to the FTC, according to the report, which cites an antitrust attorney, who also says that "Albertsons and Kroger are established retail players with experience in pharmacies" and that the assets they are eyeing represent "key geographic expansion for both."
Drug wholesaler McKesson's (MCK -23.2%) lackluster Q3 numbers and softer guidance due to pricing pressure is weighing on the entire drug supply chain. Competitors AmerisourceBergen (ABC -11.9%) and Cardinal Health (CAH -11.2%) report next week.
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) sees an opportunity in the U.S. to open up as many as 2K Amazon Fresh grocery stores in the next ten years, according to Business Insider.
A 20-store pilot program is expected to be up and running by the end of 2018, with a mix of traditional-style grocery stores and online pickup locations.
Internal documents reviewed by BI indicate that Amazon is still deciding if the stores will be tied to Amazon Prime memberships.
Amazon's determination with a large-scale store roll-out could have significance for grocery stores and other retail chains (WMK, SVU, WFM, IMKTA, CASY, KR, SFS, WBA, CASY, WMT, TGT, RAD) as they consider their own future models.