retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Associated Press reports that the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) “spent $337,000 in the second quarter to lobby on labor, retail crime and other issues, according to a recent disclosure report. That's a significant drop from the $1.1 million that the group spent in the year-ago period but slightly more than the $280,000 it spent in the first quarter of 2010.”

• Walgreen has begun promoting its flu shot offerings by selling flu shot gift cards for $29.99 - a program that worked well last year. However, this year the company appears to be working to get a jump on the competition; in 2009, it did not begin promoting flu shots until early September.

At the same time, CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic have launched an informational campaign in its retail stores and clinics, as well as online at and, to start educating consumers about what they need to know to protect themselves and their families during this upcoming flu season.
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