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Hallmark rolls out same-sex marriage cards

BY Doug Desjardins

PORTLAND, Ore. Hallmark is rolling out a new line of greeting cards for same-sex weddings. The company said it made the decision after California passed a law allowing gay weddings, joining Massachusetts and Hawaii.

A Hallmark spokeswoman said the company’s goal is “to be as relevant as possible to as many people as we can.” The four-card line features images like overlapping tuxedos and intertwined flowers but has neutral language inside. One research group estimates there will be an estimated 120,000 same-sex weddings in California over the next three years, providing a large customer base for the cards.

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Longs Drug Stores posts 6.8 percent year-on-year increase for 2Q

BY Adam Kraemer

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. Longs Drug Stores today reported preliminary income for the second quarter ended July 31, 2008, of $27.5 million, or $0.76 per diluted share, a 6.8 percent increase compared with the quarter ended July 26, 2007, of $25.7 million, or $0.67 per diluted share.

Total revenues of $1.33 billion for the 13 weeks ended July 31, 2008, were 4.6 percent higher than the $1.27 billion reported for the 13 weeks ended July 26, 2007.

Retail drug store sales increased 0.5 percent to $1.20 billion for the 13 weeks ended July 31, 2008. Same-store sales decreased 1.1 percent with pharmacy same-store sales decreasing 0.6 percent and front-end same-store sales decreasing 1.6 percent. Pharmacy sales were 51.6 percent of retail drug store sales during the period, compared with 51.3 percent a year ago.

Pharmacy benefit services revenues increased 66.3 percent to $131.3 million from $79.0 million in the comparable period last year. Prescription drug plan revenues were $110.9 million compared with $65.7 million last year and pharmacy benefit management revenues were $20.4 million compared with $13.3 million a year ago.

Total revenues of $2.74 billion for the 26 weeks ended July 31, 2008 were 6.5 percent higher than the $2.57 billion reported for the 26 weeks ended July 26, 2007.

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New Duracell flashlight delivers ‘daylite’

BY Doug Desjardins

BETHEL, Conn. Duracell has launched a new flashlight brand called Duracell Daylite that delivers a brighter and more focused beam than other brands on the market.

The flashlight arriving at retailers this month comes with TrueBeam technology that uses both a reflector and a lens to project a brighter, whiter beam of light without the typical “dark spot” found in most flashlight beams.

“We’ve re-engineered the common flashlight into a more powerful tool that will help give professionals and do-it-yourselfers the vision to do their jobs better,” said Rick June, Duracell vice president and general manager. The Duracell Daylite retails for an SRP of $24.99.

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