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Martin’s rebrands Ukrop’s stores, policies

BY Alaric DeArment

RICHMOND, Va. —A policy at Martin’s Food Markets of not allowing charity groups to collect donations or sell products outside its stores won’t have Salvation Army Santas chaining themselves to the support columns in protest during the holiday season once the 25 Ukrop’s stores it purchased in Virginia complete their transition to Martin’s stores. But a supermarket chain with a strong local identity is disappearing, nonetheless.

Martin’s, part of the larger Giant-Carlisle chain owned by Netherlands-based Ahold, is putting the kibosh on the longstanding Ukrop’s policy of allowing such groups as the Salvation Army and Girl Scouts to solicit donations and sell cookies outside its stores. The company already had promised to reverse other Ukrop’s policies, such as not selling alcohol and closing on Sundays, which analysts have said led to the family-owned chain losing its top place in the Richmond-area market to Food Lion, owned by Belgium’s Delhaize Group.

Another hallmark of Ukrop’s has been its health-and-wellness programs, with a particular focus on immunizations. Martin’s has programs of its own, but Martin’s spokeswoman Tracy Pawelski said that she was not at liberty to talk about specific plans for the newly acquired stores, though there would be in-store nutritionists. “We’ll be unveiling a number of things later this spring,” Pawelski told Drug Store News. “Our commitment to health and wellness is very strong.”

Martin’s has a history of supporting charities in the communities it serves, such as United Way and the Children’s Miracle Network, and the chain said it would purchase 1,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies to donate to the Central VA Food Bank.

Giant-Carlisle, based in Carlisle, Pa., bought the 25 Ukrop’s stores in December 2009 for $140 million from the Ukrop family, which had owned the stores since 1937. Giant-Carlisle plans to finish rebranding the stores as Martin’s stores this spring.

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Survey finds shoppers with a plan spend most money

BY Allison Cerra

CHICAGO Coupon clippers and shoppers that plan their excursions to the supermarket are more likely to spend more money, according to a Henkel survey.

Henkel, a manufacturer of such brands as Dial soap, said that those who go to supermarkets with the intent to shop and save yield more profit than carefree shoppers. On average, coupon clippers spent more than $7,100 last year. What’s more, Henkel added, these shoppers accounted for 31% of spending on packaged goods in 2009, even though they only make up 26% of U.S. households.

Another interesting fact, the CPG maker noted, is that shoppers with a plan also are less likely to shop at new stores.

The survey was baed on tracking of about 40,000 households performed by ACNielsen and Information Resources Inc.

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Bayer aspirin quick release crystals

BY Michael Johnsen

CVS had this citrus-flavored Bayer aspirin quick release crystals clip-stripped within adult dentures. And while this product isn’t the 81 mg of aspirin recommended for daily consumption to prevent a second heart attack (it contains 850 mg in each powder pouch), there is still a very strong need for this kind of easily stored/quickly administered aspirin product for seniors.

Sufferers of any heart attack are recommended to chew and swallow aspirin just after they’ve dialed 911 and called for help. As the first aid for heart attacks, aspirin makes platelets less sticky and can minimize blood clot formation and prevent further blockage of the artery.

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