Proposed cigarette-sale ban burns Beantown drug store operators
BOSTON —Last month, San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom signed into law an ordinance to ban the city’s retail pharmacies from selling tobacco products.
Soon after, health officials in neighboring Marin County announced they planned a similar move, though attorneys for Walgreens sued on Sept. 9 in the San Francisco Superior Court for an emergency injunction to block the San Francisco ban. Now, it appears, another city could soon join the club.
Health officials in Boston announced Sept. 4 that they would seek a similar ban, though their proposal also would affect college campuses and ban smoking on patios, in outside seating areas of restaurants and bars, in such outdoor areas near workplaces as loading docks and in hotels, inns and bed-and-breakfasts. In addition, it would ban the opening of new smoking bars, such as hookah bars, and ban the sale of “blunt wraps,” tobacco leaves often used to roll marijuana cigarettes. Boston originally banned smoking in bars and restaurants in 2003.
The National Association of Chain Drug Stores expressed opposition to the proposed ban. “This is not a tobacco issue, but rather a fairness issue,” a representative of the organization said. “For example, we would feel the same if the proposal were to ban certain food products because they are not considered to be on the correct side of the ‘healthy’ line.”
The city’s health department, however, considers it a health issue.
“Tobacco exposure continues to be a significant factor that contributes to preventable sickness and death,” commission executive director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. “The board’s actions will help reduce young people’s exposure to tobacco products and ensure that workers are not exposed to secondhand smoke when trying to earn a living.”
NACDS, however, said the ban could drive smokers away from retail pharmacies, which often carry smoking-cessation products and advice, to retailers that don’t.
The commission’s board also agreed to ask the city council to strengthen city laws against selling tobacco to minors and require stores to post additional signage to emphasize the hazards of smoking.
It will have a public hearing on the issue in October. NACDS said it was not aware of any other areas proposing similar bans.
Winn-Dixie completes 100th store remodel
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.”
Longs to carry GE digital cameras
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.