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American Greetings presents a birthday card ‘Surprise’ for kids

BY Allison Cerra

CLEVELAND — American Greetings is making kids’ birthday cards extra special with its Surprise Inside line.

Each Surprise Inside card features a surprise gift pouch that the child can open to reveal a small toy that coordinates with the card’s theme, the company said. A sticker reveals to the sender what the secret gift will be.

"We know that moms love to surprise their kids with something new, and so we’re always working to get the most exciting and innovative products on the market right into her hands in the places she’s already shopping," said Carol Miller, executive director of new product concepts at American Greetings. "Surprise Inside really brings the birthday wishes in the card to life and gives the child a fun memento of the occasion."

Surprise Inside greeting cards are available at participating drug chains, grocery stores and mass retailers nationwide, as well as in American Greetings and Carlton Cards retail stores.

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Dollar General: On the move

BY Mike Troy

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — Expectations of improved profitability at Dollar General mean the company will keep the pedal to the metal in terms of expansion.

(THE NEWS: Dollar General keeps growing. For the full story, click here)

The company already operates more stores in the United States than any other retailer, as it noted in the press release announcing fourth-quarter results. And that is a distinction it won’t relinquish any time soon with more aggressive expansion planned for 2011. By this time next year, the company will have roughly 10,000 stores due to the planned addition of 625 new units and 550 remodels.

That means more competition for chain drug stores, whose product assortments increasingly overlap with Dollar General, and other extreme value operators, who steadily have added food, consumables and health-and-beauty-aid items to their product mix during the past decade.

Brands are being emphasized, too. As Dollar General noted in its financial results release, it sells products from America’s most trusted manufacturers, including Procter & Gamble, Kimberly-Clark, Unilever, Kellogg’s, General Mills, Nabisco, Hanes, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola.

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Food Lion launches groceries sweepstakes

BY Allison Cerra

SALISBURY, N.C. — Customers that participate in Food Lion’s loyalty program have the opportunity to win free groceries for a year.

Food Lion said that MVP customers in select markets can swipe their member cards once a day at the in-store coupon kiosks to enter for a chance to win. Customers also instantly can win 1-of-more-than-200,000 free national and private-brand items through April 19. Free items will be awarded in the form of a coupon, the retailer said.

Food Lion noted that the following locations are participating in the sweepstakes: Charlotte, Hickory, Raleigh, Greensboro and Greenville, N.C.; Richmond, Tidewater and Roanoke, Va.; Atlanta, Ga.; and Columbia and Spartanburg, S.C.

For a complete listing of participating stores, visit FoodLion.com.

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