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Rite Aid stores prepare for down-to-the-minute Halloween tidal wave

BY Jenna Duncan

CAMP HILL, Pa. As the days before the biggest U.S. dress-up holiday of the year squeak by, Rite Aid stores are stocking up on candy and decorations to prepare for the last-minute rush.

This is because reports from the National Retail Federation have stated despite the economic downturn, Halloween should turn out to be a robust sales holiday. In poll results released two weeks ago, 64.5 percent of adults polled by NRF said they would be celebrating celebrate Halloween in 2008, up from the 58.7 percent of adults who said they were celebrating in 2007.

Steve Moss, Rite Aid seasonal category manager said, “Since Halloween falls on a Friday, we are expecting customers will party this year. We think decorations especially will be a big hit.” Moss attributes the anticipated rush to tighter schedules and tighter grips on shoppers’ wallets.

Since the NRF predicted that Halloween customers will mostly likely spend $66.54 each, and 95.6 percent of said they will be buying candy, Rite Aid stores will be stocked to the gills with individually wrapped treats, the company said.

Rite Aid has said its stores have on shelf bags of assorted Dove chocolates for $4.39, 18-count bags of mixed Hershey’s chocolate bars and 25-count bag of Mars candies for $3.49 and packages of Lindt chocolates for $5.99. Some of the sugar candies available include 75-count of Airheads for $5.99, 25-count bags of Fun Dips for $7.99, and mini-bags of Mini Oreos, Rice Krispies Treats and Teddy Grahams for $3.59.

The stores have also stocked up Halloween decor and non-edible fun items, such as 20-packs of individual play-size containers of Play-Doh containers, 10 packs of Velvet Treats art projects with colored markers and bags of stretchy plastic spiders and spider rings.

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Meijer adds bulk groceries to its list of online shopping items

BY Jenna Duncan

HOLLAND, Mich. Meijer grocery chain has announced the start of its Grocery By The Case bulk shopping program online.

More than 2,000 dry goods and groceries have been added to the Web site and free delivery is offered for orders over $150, the company has said.

Meijer said it is expanding its bulk offerings to better compete with bulk chain stores, such as Costco and Sam’s Club. It will offer a special discounted delivery charge to elderly customers every other Friday for $3.

Online grocery shopping at Meijer is available at www.meijer.com.

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Pringles creates customized snack cans in time for holidays

BY Melissa Valliant

CINCINNATI You may find that Pringles replaced the candy in your stocking this season. Procter & Gamble launched a new application on the Pringles Web site Monday that allows visitors to personally design a Pringles can. Beginning Oct. 27, the company will donate $1 for every submitted creation to Children’s Miracle Network, a non-profit organization that raises money through U.S. and Canadian corporate partners and directly distributes its funds to participating hospitals.

The site allows Pringles fans to create their own background, choose one of the application’s many colors, gradients and pre-made templates or upload personal photos. Text can also be added. The designs can be saved to the site for all visitors to view and vote on, with the three categories being Funniest, Most Creative and Best Design. Print, wrap around the can and glue or tape where the ends meet for a customized can that can serve as a holiday cookie container, gift box or stocking stuffer.

“The Can Creator is a great opportunity for people to make a difference, said Children’s Miracle Network. “During the holidays, people are looking for ways to donate time or money to charitable causes, and Pringles has offered visitors the unique opportunity to easily give back.”

The money raised—up to $20,000—will be awarded on or before June 30, 2009.

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