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RetailROI seeks $250,000, plus $1 million in supplies, from industry to aid fight against Ebola in Liberia

BY Michael Johnsen

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Retail Orphan Initiative on Tuesday hosted a webinar detailing a major charitable campaign to fight Ebola in Liberia. Using the hashtag #RetailFightsEbola, the group is calling on retailers and suppliers across the industry to help raise $250,000 in financial contributions and $1 million in donated goods before the end of the year. 
 
"What this really is about is practical aid; practical stuff that we can find in any supercenter here in the United States to be donated to be able to help people on the ground [in Liberia]," noted Greg Buzek, co-founder and donor trustee, RetailROI. "It's financial donations that we can use in the near term, in the next 12 weeks, and then more physical aid that can be used after 12 weeks that can go as donated materials."
 
RetailROI is working to provide specific items requested by its partners and the Liberian Ministry of Health, including first aid supplies, as well as food, clothing and linens to help with practical aid and care for survivors and the more than 3,400 children that are newly orphaned from the disease.
 
"We're estimating that this initial wave of donations will help at least a minimum of 300,000 people survive and avoid Ebola," Buzek said. "The supplies will help at a minimum about 5,000 homes, as well as the orphan homes." According to Buzek, the average family home in Liberia occupies a 12-ft. by 12-ft. space and houses six people. 
 
"[Ebola] really picked up in July of this year," Buzek said. "It's been exploding exponentially in the country due to the lack of ambulances; due to the lack of provisions; due to the lack of doctors and the number of doctors that have died as a result," he said. "Nearly half of the [85] doctors [across the country] have died due to lack of protective gear. Most all medical clinics have shut down because healthcare workers refuse to work without the protective gear. It's too dangerous."
 
So far RetailROI partners, including More Than Me and Love in Action, have successfully reduced the number of new cases by up to 90% in some of the areas hardest hit by the disease, through education, community outreach and delivery of basic medical and hygiene supplies. These efforts have been so successful that the Liberian Ministry of Health reached out to them to expand their work to additional Ebola hotspots within the country.  
 
Liberia is about the size of New Jersey and has a population of 4.1 million people, mostly concentrated in the two cities of Monrovia and Buchanan. Liberia is one of the world’s poorest countries, with an average national income of only $412 USD per capita annually. It is also one of the countries hardest hit by Ebola and could see another 90,000 deaths and 171,000 infections by year-end without new efforts against the disease, according to a new study released last week.
 
For more information, to donate or get involved visit www.retailroi.org/ebolarelief
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Harris Teeter to celebrate opening of newest Maryland location

BY Antoinette Alexander

MATTHEWS, N.C. — Harris Teeter announced that it will celebrate the grand opening of its Towne Centre at Laurel store on Nov. 11.  

The new Town Centre at Laurel will be the company’s 12th location in Maryland. Harris Teeter, which was cofounded in 1960 by North Carolina grocers W.T. Harris and Willis Teeter, currently operates more than 230 stores.
 
Features of the new store include, but are not limited to, an expanded Hispanic and Asian food offering, pharmacy, free blood pressure testing, private consultations, a Western Union and sit-down eating area.
 

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Tru Fragrance names VP of business development

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Tru Fragrance, A fragrance development company that manufactures, launches and markets private brand fragrances for retailers, has hired Mark Magliaro as its new VP of business development.

Magliaro’s primary responsibility will be to identify, develop and secure new client partnerships for Tru across a wide variety of distribution channels, while working with Tru’s client, product development and creative teams in New York and Chicago. Magliaro will be based out of Tru’s New York City’s office beginning in January.

“Mark brings 25 years of extensive fragrance experience to Tru,” said Monte Henige, CEO of Tru Fragrance. “We are thrilled to have Mark join our team at Tru, as the company continues to build new retail partnerships and explore new channels worldwide.”

Prior to joining Tru, Magliaro served as president of fragrance for Ungerer & Co. where he built cross-functional teams and repositioned Ungerer & Co. in the marketplace. He oversaw commercial responsibilities that included sales, marketing, market research, perfumery, evaluation, customer care and technology. Prior to Ungerer, Magliaro served as president of fragrances for Fragrance Resources.

 

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