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Rockin’ Green’s laundry detergent products to tout new scent, packaging

BY Allison Cerra

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Rockin’ Green has revamped its laundry detergent products inside and out.

The company said that its Soft, Classic and Hard Rock formulas will feature a new scent and packaging. The company said it is replacing one of its original scents, called Plain Green Tea’s, with a scent called Earth, Wind and Orchids. What’s more, the standard packaging for the laundry detergents have been redesigned with a new look and also will use less material.

What’s more, Rockin’ Green said that its Funk Rock product, which is an ammonia bouncer, will be available in a printed, 16-oz. stand-up pouch with a zipper for more convenient use and storage. Rockin’ Green’s Shake It Ups also will be packaged in a printed stand-up pouch, but will feature a spout instead of a zipper.

Rockin’ Green said that its remixed versions of the laundry detergent products are gentle for longevity, safer for sensitive skin and better cleaning power.

The new Rockin’ Green remixed versions, as well as Earth, Wind and Orchids scent, will be available in store and online this week, with new packaging rolling out next month.

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Kroger off to strong start with positive Q1

BY Allison Cerra

CINCINNATI — Kroger reported solid first-quarter results and marked 30 consecutive quarters in which identical-store sales increased, the supermarket retailer announced Thursday.

Kroger said that identical-store sales rose 4.6%, excluding fuel, to about $20.8 billion. Identical stores are defined as supermarkets open at least five quarters.

The company said its first-quarter revenue for the period ended May 21, including fuel, rose 11% to about $27.5 billion, compared with the year-ago period. Excluding fuel, total sales were 4.8% above last year.

Net earnings for Kroger increased to 70 cents per diluted share, compared with 58 cents per diluted share in first quarter 2010.

Looking ahead, Kroger said that it expects identical supermarket sales growth, excluding fuel, to range from 3.5% to 4.5% for the year. The previous guidance range was 3% to 4%. For the full year, Kroger increased its earnings guidance to $1.85 to $1.95 per diluted share.

"Our Customer 1st strategy is clearly connecting with customers," Kroger chairman and CEO David Dillon said. "We have shown that our focus on people, products, prices and the shopping experience is meaningful to customers through both good and challenging times. As a result, we achieved strong performance across the company.

"Our guidance for the year reflects the balance we strive to achieve across our business — including strong identical sales growth and outstanding cost control, as well as increased earnings and earnings per share," Dillon added. "Our Customer 1st strategy will drive increased sales, cash flow and earnings growth well into the future."

Kroger will hold its annual shareholders meeting on June 23.

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Retail theft reaches more than $37 billion

BY Allison Cerra

BOCA RATON, Fla. — A new survey recently conducted by the University of Florida found that retailers lost $37.1 billion in theft last year, up nearly $4 billion from 2009.

Criminologist Richard Hollinger led the National Retail Security Survey, which was sponsored by security systems integrator ADT Commercial. Hollinger found that employee theft made up the largest portion with $16.2 billion in losses, or more than 43% of the total, followed by shoplifting and organized retail crime, with a loss of $12.1 billion, or almost 33% of the total losses.

"It is possible this increase is due to the prevalence of ORC, where items are stolen in quantity and then resold to consumers on the Internet or at flea markets," Hollinger said. "The National Retail Federation just completed its own survey showing an increase in ORC activities with more than 95% of retailers saying they had been victims and almost 85% indicating that the problem had gotten worse over the last three years."

Retail theft includes shoplifting, employee theft, administrative error and vendor fraud.

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