business news in context, analysis with attitude

…with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

• Kroger has announced a new partnership with Texas-based MarkeTouch Media on a new plan called MedSync that “leverages a central call center and 2,200 Kroger Family of Pharmacies locations to enroll patients and support pharmacy associates” and then “allows patients to refill multiple prescriptions on a single, convenient date.”

MedSync, the two companies say, “is proven to increase a patient’s medication adherence, health outcomes and improves their pharmacy experience … The new approach and service have led to higher pharmacist-patient consultation rates and increased patient exposure to other important clinical services such as immunizations, health screenings, and medication therapy management.”

• The New York Times this morning reports that Payless ShoeSource, “a once-popular seller of inexpensive women’s footwear and a staple in many suburban shopping malls, is closing all of its American stores.” The company also is closing down its e-commerce site.

The story says that “the retailer, which filed for bankruptcy two years ago, had already closed hundreds of stores in recent years as its brand lost luster among women searching for deals on shoes. It is the latest mass-market retailer to vanish from the retail landscape.” And, the Times suggests, its liquidation “is another example of how bankruptcy has helped retailers shed their debt, but it has not helped many of them restructure their businesses and regain sales.”

There is, Jimmy Buffett once sang, a thin line between Saturday night and Sunday morning. But there’s a thick, hard-to-traverse line between getting rid of debt and creating a compelling business sustainable into the future. Lots of companies can do the former, but the latter … not so much.
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