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Carnival opens first in-store dental clinic in Texas

BY Antoinette Alexander

COPPELL, Texas The in-store clinic model continues to evolve as Carnival Food Stores has announced the opening of the first in-store dental center in Texas.

To develop the clinic model, Carnival partnered with All Smiles Dental and Orthodontics practice, which has 15 North Texas dental centers. In addition to operating the in-store clinic at Carnival, All Smiles also operates two mobile dental clinics that will visit a Carnival store every week on a rotating basis to provide basic dental health care beginning in April.

The in-store clinic will be located within the 55,000-square-foot supermarket at 3320 K Avenue in Plano. The new All Smiles Dental and Orthodontics center will be open during the week and on various weekends.

“Offering dental services is one more step we are taking to provide the best services to the neighborhoods we serve,” explained Michael Byars, chief executive officer for Carnival Supermarkets. “With All Smiles’ new clinic and its mobile units, both residents around our Plano store and shoppers at our other grocery stores will be able to receive low-cost dental care.”

All Smiles specializes in providing general dentistry, orthodontics, endodontics, periodontics and pediatric dentistry for low-income families. It accepts Medicaid, CHIP and PPO insurance programs as well as cash plans.

“The focus of the Carnival Super Markets on the Hispanic community, plus its commitment to preventative health education and healthy families fits in perfectly with our customer base. Now we have an opportunity to provide dental care in a convenient and practical setting for our customers,” stated Dr. Richard J. Malouf, founder and chief executive officer of All Smiles Dental and Orthodontics.

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Vasos’ promotion at Longs considered ‘a positive’

BY Doug Desjardins

NEW YORK A Goldman Sachs analyst said the appointment of Todd Vasos as the new executive vice president and chief operating officer of Longs Drug is a “positive” that should “position the company better” for the future.

In a March 10 report, analyst John Heinbockel said the departure of former chief operating officer Karen Stout last Friday and the promotion of Vasos to replace her is an “important change” that should make Longs stronger.

 “We view these changes positively. Mr. Vasos is responsible for many of the most impactful initiatives the company has pursued over the past several years, including the upgrade of the private-label program, the development of a new store remodel prototype and expansion into self-distribution,” Heinbockel said in his report. “Ms. Stout, on the other hand, had primarily a warehouse club and supermarket background.”

 In that regard, he added that, “it is more important for the person heading up operations and merchandising to have an intimate understanding of the drug store format.”

In his former position as senior vice president and chief merchandising officer, Vasos played a key role in the rollout of Longs’ store remodels and its front-end re-merchandising.

Larry Gatta will fill Vasos’ position as senior vice president and chief merchandising officer, and Linda Voracek is moving up to the role of vice president of marketing and is responsible for all front-end categories. No reason has been given for Stout’s departure from Longs.

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Gift and decor market hit $65 billion in 2007

BY Doug Desjardins

STEVENS, Pa. The market for gifts and home decor generated $65.2 billion in sales in 2007, according to a new study from Unity Marketing.

Unity said the market grew by 72 percent since its last major study conducted in 2002, when gift and decor accents hit $37.9 billion. The study said giftware sales grew faster than decor in recent years, rising 14.7 percent at an annual rate, compared with a 9.4 percent annual increase in decor.

“The giftware market has completely re-invented itself in the past five years,” said Unity Marketing president Pam Danziger. “The key for success in the giftware market is for companies to continually offer new and distinctly different products for a consumer market that is hungry for concepts that are new and unique.”

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