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REPORTERS Notebook

BY DSN STAFF

Supplier NewsParamount Home Entertainment has set Oct. 16 as the release date for “Transformers,” the live-action summer film that earned more than $650 million in theaters worldwide. Paramount also will release the hit film on the HD-DVD format the same day.

Also due out in stores in time for the holidays is the fourth film in the long-running “Die Hard” franchise. “Live Free or Die Hard” is due out from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment two days before Thanksgiving on Nov. 20. The surprise summer hit will be priced at $29.98 SRP and also will be released the same day on Blu-Ray high definition DVD.

Proctor & Gamble announced that Gain has become the company’s 23rd brand to break the $1 billion mark in sales. The laundry detergent brand, sold only in North America, is the company’s eighth-largest brand in the United States with sales driven primarily by ethnic consumers.

“We work hard to understand our Gain consumers and work even harder to deliver the amazing scent experience they find in Gain,” said Kevin Burke, P&G laundry marketing director. “That’s the secret to Gain’s remarkable growth.” Gain debuted in 1969 and is currently P&G’s fastest-growing brand among African-Americans.

American Greetings has appointed Jeffrey Dunn to its board of directors where he’ll fill a vacancy for a term set to expire in 2008. Dunn most recently served as president of Nickelodeon Film Enterprises and as chief operating officer of Nickelodeon Networks Group.

“We are delighted to have Jeff join us,” said chief executive officer Zev Weiss. “American Greetings will benefit from his business acumen and expertise, particularly with regard to digital content and licensing.” Dunn graduated from Harvard and went on to earn an MBA from Harvard Business School.

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Kroger appoints Going as Michigan division president

BY Adam Kraemer

CINCINNATI The Kroger Co. announced Wednesday that it has named Rick Going president of the company’s new Michigan division.

Kroger currently operates 138 stores in the state; Going will oversee operations in them, effective immediately.

During his 26-year tenure with Kroger, Going has held a number of district- and division-level leadership positions at the store and has served as vice president of Retail Operations and vice president of Merchandising for Kroger’s Cincinnati/Dayton division.

“Rick brings extensive experience in operations and merchandising to this new role,” said Don McGeorge, Kroger’s president and chief operating officer. “We look forward to his leadership as he works with our associates to build on Kroger’s growth in Michigan by focusing on our customers to create even better shopping experiences for them.”

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NACDS responds to “misleading” New York Times article

BY DSN STAFF

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has fired back at The New York Times after the publication ran an article in its Sept. 18 issue titled, “The ‘Poisonous Cocktail’ of Multiple Drugs.”

The NACDS said the article misrepresented the role of chain pharmacies in the prevention of harmful drug interactions. The article blamed, “places where chain stores have replaced independent pharmacies or when the patient’s drug plan requires that medications be ordered by mail.” The NACDS retaliated by stating that all pharmacists, no matter whether they work in a chain or at an independent pharmacy, counsel patients for drug interactions and rely on medication information for this purpose.

The NACDS said the article misrepresented the role of chain pharmacies in the prevention of harmful drug interactions. The article blamed, “places where chain stores have replaced independent pharmacies or when the patient’s drug plan requires that medications be ordered by mail.” The NACDS retaliated by stating that all pharmacists, no matter whether they work in a chain or at an independent pharmacy, counsel patients for drug interactions and rely on medication information for this purpose.

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