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    Walgreen Plans Big Changes

    After a failed bid for Longs, and c.e.o. exit, the drug chain said it will shake things up some more with moves including a different acquisition and new consumer programs.

    Walgreen is serious about change. The drugstore chain told Reuters that it will revamp its store format, has hired consultancy Booz Allen Hamilton, and will reveal plans to improve store operations during an Oct. 30 analyst day.

    The drug chain also said it will buy McKesson Corp.'s specialty pharmacy business, which would extend Walgreen's health services into areas such as oncology, multiple sclerosis, and reproductive health.

    Walgreen might also introduce a loyalty card, spruce up its stores, or do more to promote its lower-priced generics plan to help boost traffic and sales, said analysts.

    Rival CVS is said to be heating things up with its purchase of Caremark, giving the chain entry into pharmacy benefits, and with its win over Walgreen in the acquisition of Longs Drug Stores.

    Jeffrey Rein, Walgreen's ceo, left the company Oct. 10, two days after it withdrew an unsolicited bid that was rebuffed by Longs.

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