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WD-40 Specialist line officially hits market

BY Allison Cerra

SAN DIEGO — WD-40’s specialty products for trade professionals now are available.

The WD-40 Specialist line — which includes the rust release penetrant spray, water-resistant silicone lubricant, protective white lithium grease, long-term corrosion inhibitor and rust remover soak — began shipping in September 2011 now is available nationwide.

“When people think of the WD-40 brand, they think of trust, reliability and the ability to solve problems,” WD-40 president and CEO Garry Ridge said. “For the new WD-40 Specialist line to wear the trademark WD-40 shield, it shows just how confident we are about the efficacy of these products.”

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Report: CVS Caremark contributes $1.2 billion to Rhode Island economy

BY Katherine Field Boccaccio

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark on Tuesday released an economic impact study of its contribution to the economy of its headquarters state of Rhode Island.

The Pricewaterhouse Coopers-conducted study showed that the company’s Rhode Island operations contributed more than $1.2 billion to Rhode Island’s gross domestic product in 2010, approximately 12,000 jobs, $831 million in labor income, and $116 million in state and local taxes.

Over the next 10 years, the study found that CVS Caremark’s contribution to Rhode Island’s GDP is projected to be approximately $16.6 billion, assuming its growth matches the average annual growth for the national economy, which is projected by the Congressional Budget Office to be 4.7%. However, if CVS Caremark’s growth over the next 10 years matches its historical growth, its contribution over the next decade would increase to approximately $35 billion, the PwC study projected.

"The results of this study are further evidence that as we have grown as a company, we have also helped Rhode Island to grow," CVS Caremark president and CEO Larry Merlo said.

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U.S. Census Bureau: Retail sales rebound in January

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON — January retail sales are on solid ground, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Tuesday.

U.S. retail and food services sales for the month, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, totaled $401.4 billion, an increase of 0.4% and 5.8% above the year ago-period. Retail trade sales increased 0.4% for the month and 5.5% above the year-ago period, the government agency said.

Looking across retail categories, adjusted sales at grocery stores increased 1.3% in January $46.8 billion, compared with December 2011. Health and personal care stores were virtually flat at roughly $23.1 billion. Retail sales for drug stores and pharmacies were not recorded; however, sales were virtually flat from November to December ($19.25 billion).

The National Retail Federation said sales built on the momentum of the holiday shopping season and were "propelled by gift card redemptions and warm weather."

“Thanks to a combination of unseasonably warm weather across much of the country and millions of shoppers with gift cards burning holes in their pockets, retailers are still riding the tailwinds of consumers’ spending power,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. “As a traditionally slower sales month for the industry, it’s encouraging to see such sustained growth in consumer spending and sentiment.”

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