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Nutrition 21 files for Chapter 11

BY Michael Johnsen

PURCHASE, N.Y. — Nutrition 21 on Friday announced that it has filed a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

The company does not have sufficient cash to meet a required redemption of its Series J 8% Convertible Preferred Stock on Sept. 11, 2011, for $17.8 million.

Nutrition 21 plans on selling all, or substantially all, of its assets. During the pendency of Nutrition 21’s Chapter 11 proceedings, the company will remain in possession of its assets and will continue to operate its business.

Nutrition 21 in January sold substantially all of the assets of its direct response and retail businesses to Nature’s Products, based in Sunrise, Fla. The purchase price was approximately $3.2 million plus the assumption of designated liabilities.

“We entered into this transaction to focus our limited financial resources on our profitable ingredients business,” stated Michael Zeher, Nutrition 21 president and CEO, at the time of the January sale.

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Huggies moves on from jeans, rocks camouflage

BY Allison Cerra

DALLAS — Kimberly-Clark is continuing to revolutionize its Huggies brand with a limited-edition diaper that touts a camouflage style.

New limited-edition Huggies Little Movers camo diapers, exclusively available at Walmart, are shaped to fit like the traditional Huggies Little Movers diapers. What’s more, the brand also has introduced limited-edition Huggies camo wipes that feature camo-inspired packaging. As part of the launch, Huggies said its Every Little Bottom program will help diaper a baby in need by donating to Operation Homefront, which provides emergency assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors. In 2011, Huggies Every Little Bottom will donate up to 500,000 diapers to military families.

"Huggies Camo Diapers are shaped to fit like classic Huggies Little Movers Diapers and combine a fashionable camouflage design with the proven performance of the Huggies brand," said Erik Seidel, Huggies brand VP. "We are proud to partner with Walmart to introduce Huggies Camo Diapers and to join with Operation Homefront to support service men and women and their loved ones."

Last year, Huggies introduced limited-edition jean diapers for its Little Movers line. The jean diapers returned to store shelves this past spring.

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Hurricane Irene, inflation to drive August comps

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — By the time sales figures for August are tallied, last week’s Hurricane Irene may have flooded more than the East Coast seaboard; she may have flooded pharmacy registers, too.

"Inflation and Irene likely drove strong front-end comps in August," Credit Suisse equity analyst Edward Kelly wrote in a note published Monday. "Our most recent monthly Nielsen Trend Tracker for the four-week period ended Aug. 6 … shows that industry sales remain strong, driven by accelerating price inflation as drug stores pass through vendor price increases and positive volume growth," he suggested. "East Coast drug stores also likely experienced heavy traffic in preparation for Hurricane Irene."

According to Credit Suisse estimates, any sales push driven by hurricane preparation would benefit Rite Aid the most with an estimated 35% of its store base in those areas impacted by Hurricane Irene, followed by CVS (25%) and Walgreens (15%).

Credit Suisse projected Rite Aid June front-end same-store sales to be up as much as 3.5% and Walgreens up 5%. Rite Aid and Walgreens report August sales on Sept. 1 and Sept. 6, respectively.

 

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