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Aura Cacia oils featured in children’s book

BY Allison Cerra

URBANA, Iowa Aromatherapy products maker Aura Cacia has teamed up with the creators of a heroic rescue dog character in a series of children’s books.

“Mo Smells Blue,” the third installment of the “Mo’s Nose” series, features Press-2-Smell technology that allows readers to smell 100% pure essential oils from Aura Cacia — all the “blue” aromas Mo discovers in his journey, enhancing the imagination and reading experience, the company said. The pure essential oils provided by Aura Cacia for the book series represent just a few of the company’s extensive list of pure, organic aromatherapy products.

Aportion of the proceeds from “Mo Smells Blue” goes to the Best Friends Animal Society to support its initiatives with humane groups across the country — working toward a time when there are no more homeless pets. The “Mo’s Nose” series is dedicated to teaching kids about philanthropy, fun and making the planet a better place for all four- and two-legged creatures.

“Mo Smells Blue” now is available at Barnes & Noble and online at BarnesandNoble.comAmazon.comMosNose.com and other select retailers nationwide.

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‘Positive traffic and a strong finish’ aid May sales for Fred’s

BY Allison Cerra

MEMPHIS, Tenn. Discounter Fred’s noted a 5% rise in its fiscal sales for the month, which ended May 29.

The chain said sales totaled $141.5 million, up from $134.9 million in May 2009. Comparable-store sales for the month rose 3.5%, compared with an increase of 0.2% in the same period last year.

Fred’s total sales for the first four months of fiscal 2010 increased 3% to $613.1 million. On a comparable-store basis, year-to-date sales increased 3.5% on top of an increase of 2.1% in the same period last year.

CEO Bruce Efird said, “We are pleased that May comparable-store sales came in at the upper end of our expectations, highlighted by positive traffic and a strong finish before the Memorial Day holiday. This performance reflected a number of positive factors, including good results from our May advertising circulars, solid comparable-script growth in our pharmacy department and continued success with the new sales-driving initiatives we are implementing this year. Despite economic uncertainty and high unemployment, the sales momentum building thus far in 2010 positions Fred’s well to capitalize on our customers’ desire for savings, selection and convenience.”

Fred’s operates 670 discount general merchandise stores, including 24 franchised Fred’s stores in the southeastern United States.

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Sandoz closes Oriel Therapeutics deal

BY Alaric DeArment

PRINCETON, N.J. Sandoz has acquired privately owned U.S. drug maker Oriel Therapeutics, the generics arm of Novartis said Thursday. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Sandoz said its purchase of Oriel would give it access to such drug-delivery technologies as FreePath and the Solis disposable dry-powder inhaler, itself based on FreePath technology.

“The closing of the Oriel Therapeutics acquisition is an important milestone in our aspiration to a global leadership position in differentiated, high-value respiratory products,” said Don DeGolyer, president of Sandoz’s U.S. division. “We welcome the Oriel employees into our organization and look forward to our ongoing work together to strengthen Sandoz’s position in the respiratory market.”

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