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Pharmacist featured in Alli TV ads

BY Michael Johnsen

COLUMBIA, S.C. myalli.com and in a national TV commercial.—Cheryl Hartvigsen, pharmacist for South Carolina independent drug chain Long’s Drugs with nine pharmacies—no relation to the West Coast chain, soon to be an official part of CVS/Caremark—not only recommends the use of GlaxoSmithKline’s over-the-counter diet aid Alli to her patients, she’s a success story too, featured on both

Hartvigsen became a grassroots spokeswoman for Alli after posting her success story on myalli.com in fall 2007. By the spring, her post reached the marketing department of GlaxoSmithKline, who asked to feature her story in a TV commercial. “It was November. I had been doing real well with Alli,” she said, “and I went onto the Web site for new menu ideas.” While on the site, she shared her success story on an online blog, thinking that “as a pharmacist, maybe people will listen to me if I say that it works.”

Hartvigsen estimated she counsels between 10 and 15 patients per week who come to her with questions about the OTC diet aid. The biggest question is the treatment effects (gas with oily spotting, loose stools); just how bad are they? “Because I was motivated and conscious about it, I really didn’t have them so bad,” she said. “I always tell [my patients] you just have to be very smart.” Hartvigsen’s personal rule of thumb was to restrict her diet such that only one-third of her daily consumed calories were sourced from fat. “That’s healthy, too. As Americans we eat way too much fat,” she said.

In addition to working as a medicine-adjudicating, patient-counseling behind-the-bench pharmacist, Hartvigsen also performs immunizations for Long’s Drugs and provides bio-identical hormone consultations. It’s to her patients seeking menopausal relief that she makes most of her Alli recommendations, she said. Hormone patients are very receptive to weight loss recommendations, Hartvigsen said, “that’s the main reason they come to you, sometimes.”

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Winn-Dixie completes 100th store remodel

BY Michael Johnsen

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Less than 18 months after announcing a major remodel initiative for all of its 521 stores, Winn-Dixie Stores, on Thursday announced the completion of remodel No. 100.

The newest remodeled store, in the Miami suburb of Hialeah, is celebrating its grand opening today.

The Hialeah store showcases the company’s fresh and local strategic initiative—an updated storefront, combined with expanded produce and floral departments. The store’s deli and bakery were upgraded with a wood-burning rotisserie and bread warmer, a wing bar, an olive bar and a specialty dessert case. The store also features new energy-efficient refrigerators and frozen food cases as well as new wood flooring and a contemporary color palette.

“This is not only a milestone for our Company, but it also symbolizes the hard work and dedication of our associates and the loyalty of our customers,” stated Peter Lynch, Winn-Dixie’s chairman, chief executive officer and president. “It’s all about being fresh and local—from our decor to our merchandising and marketing initiatives, we are tailoring every detail of our remodeled stores to meet the needs of neighborhoods we serve. As the remodel program moves forward, we will have a significantly stronger store base from which to compete and leverage the strength of our brand. We plan to remodel half the chain by June 2010.”

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Longs to carry GE digital cameras

BY Michael Johnsen

TORRANCE, Calif. Already distributed through Walgreens, General Imaging, the worldwide exclusive licensee for GE digital cameras, may be getting a foot in the door with CVS with Thursday’s announcement that its retail camera line is to be picked up by Longs Drug beginning in October.

Under the agreement, Longs stores will stock three models—the A730 Black, the A835 Black and the A1030 Red.

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