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Armaly unites Brillo, Estracell to expand its sponge product offerings

BY Allison Cerra

WALLED LAKE, Mich. Armaly brands Brillo and Estracell have joined forces to bring the ultimate sponges to the household cleaning products market.

The new products — the Wedge Edge, the heavy duty scrub sponge, the light duty sponge and the sponge wipe — include more soap in each pad, new packaging and a return to the traditional pink soap for the original soap pads and new yellow soap for the lemon-scented soap pads.

Additionally, Armaly is celebrating the return to pink by entering a partnership with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and will be donating 5 cents for each purchase of specially marked packages of Brillo products up to $50,000. Armaly brand products are available nationwide at Walmart stores and other retailers.

“Brillo has been one of the most trusted names in household cleaning for almost a century, and is one of the world’s most recognizable brands, featured in modern art, songs, movies and, of course, households nationwide,” said Jeremy Bakken, spokesman for Armaly Brands. “Estracell sponges are better-cleaning, faster-rinsing and more sanitary, and are the choice of more than two-thirds of consumer and professional buyers who prefer polyester sponges. The strength of these two brands, along with the superior cleaning capability offered by the products, makes this one of the most appealing lines of household cleaning products on the market today.”

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NRF: Swipe fee fix battle ‘isn’t over’

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON Despite the signing of a financial-reform legislation that will curb the credit and debit card swipe fees paid by retailers and their customers each year, the National Retail Federation said it’s only the tip of the iceberg.

While President Obama on Wednesday signed H.R. 4173, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act of 2010 — named for Senate Banking Committee chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., and House Financial Services Committee chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass. — NRF president and CEO Matt Shay said that while the legislation “is a dramatic first step in the fight to control rising credit and debit card fees and has tremendous potential for savings,” he added that big banks may press such regulators as the Federal Reserve “as it drafts the regulations intended to result in the ‘reasonable’ debit card fees sought by Congress.”

Shay said, “Congress realizes that debit cards are simply plastic checks, and has said the Federal Reserve should look at them with paper checks in mind. The result shouldn’t be swipe fees being cut by a quarter or even a half. The result should be plastic checks that get paid at essentially face value.”

Swipe fees –– officially known as interchange fees –– are a percentage of the transaction charged by card company banks each time a card is swiped to pay for a purchase.

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Save-A-Lot enters Hispanic supermarket venture

BY DSN STAFF

ST. LOUIS Save-A-Lot announced that it has teamed up with Hispanic grocery operator Rafael Ortega to form a new company, Adventure Supermarkets. The new company owns and operates six former Save-A-Lot stores in the Houston and South Texas markets under a co-branded format, “El Ahorro Save-A-Lot.”

“We are always looking for innovative opportunities to bring the Save-A-Lot brand to local communities, and we think this affiliation best enables us to serve the Hispanic community in this area,” said Bill Shaner, Save-A-Lot president and CEO. “This relationship is a new business model for the company. Combining Mr. Ortega’s local insights with the power of the Save-A-Lot network of stores and exclusive-label expertise will enhance our ability to provide our Hispanic customers in this part of the country with the products and services they need and want, while positioning the Save-A-Lot brand for growth.”

Ortega has 24 years of experience in serving the Hispanic community in Texas and currently owns and operates 15 El Ahorro Supermarkets and almost 100 La Michoacana Meat Markets, Save-A-Lot reported.

“I am pleased about joining with Save-A-Lot in this opportunity and excited about the potential of our new, blended format,” said Rafael Ortega.

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