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Wegmans buyer notes spike in household cleaning supplies sales

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCHESTER, N.Y. A sluggish economy has provided a boost to sales of household cleaning supplies, noted Wegmans buyer Tom Gavin through a press release issued Monday.

The tendency of many families to go “out” less and stay “in” as the economy recovers may have prompted a fresh look around the house, he said, “Cleaning products of all kinds have been selling briskly at Wegmans stores in the past year,” Gavin added. “Maybe with folks spending a little more time at home, they’re noticing things that escaped attention before.”

Recent innovations in cleaning products — especially “green” cleaning products — have also boosted sales, Gavin commented, as customers discover new items that do the work as well or better than before, while also being gentler upon the environment. Some products carry brand names that have been around for generations, such as Clorox and its “Green Works” laundry and household cleaners made from plant-based ingredients and minerals. Other “green” brands are newer on the scene, such as Mrs. Meyers or Method’s lines of household and laundry products.

At the heart of the green cleaning boom is microfibers, now used in dozens of cleaning tools, Gavin suggested. “The growth in microfiber products has been truly impressive. … We’ve seen a double-digit increase in sales in the last year.”

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Bennett named Drug Store News publisher

BY Drug Store News Team

NEW YORK Lebhar-Friedman Inc., parent company of The Drug Store News Group, last month named Wayne Bennett publisher of the group, which includes Drug Store News, Pharmacy Practice, PharmacyTech News, Retail Clinician and Specialty Pharmacy magazines, as well as all Drug Store News electronic media products.

The move, which became effective just prior to the Holidays, acknowledges the considerable contributions Bennett has made to the Drug Store News franchise over a highly successful 15-year career with the company. Bennett, who most recently served as associate publisher of the group and national sales manager prior to that, has played an instrumental role in the overall growth of the enterprise from the single flagship Drug Store News print edition to the current group of publications and e-media products that comprise The Drug Store News Group today.

Bennett succeeds John Kenlon, who in 2009, was named VP and group publisher for Lebhar-Friedman’s Retail Division, which includes The Drug Store News Group, as well as Chain Store Age, Retailing Today and Home Channel News, including all print and electronic products.

“Wayne has a genuine passion for retail pharmacy and wants the industry to succeed — not just Drug Store News,” Kenlon said.  “For that reason, suppliers and retailers want to work with him; they know he will do everything he can to help improve their businesses.”

Bennett first joined Lebhar-Friedman in October 1996 as area manager for Drug Store News. An avid cyclist, and life-long New Yorker, he lives in Long Island with his wife Gail and his two sons, Alex and Jake. A proud SUNY-Albany graduate, Bennett also has an MBA from St. John’s University.

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Weis Markets implements Price Freeze program for New Year

BY Allison Cerra

SUNBURY, Pa. Weis Markets announced it has lowered the prices on 2,600 staple items, and frozen these lower prices for 90 days through April 1, 2010. It has also moved to freeze the prices on an additional 624 products.

The overall Price Freeze item count increases to 3,224 products, up from 3,000, and includes private-label and brand name products.

The price program is being promoted in Weis Markets’ current circular, television and radio ads. Throughout stores, customers will see Price Freeze signage and shelf tags for participating items.

“It is clear our customers remain in a cautious mood due to the weak economy. Over the past year, our Price Freeze program has generated $16 million in savings for our customers,” said David J. Hepfinger, Weis Markets president and CEO. “With our current program, we have lowered the prices on thousands of our products – and have committed to maintaining these lower prices through the spring. As a result, we are able to offer our customers consistent, long-term savings and values on the products they are looking to purchase.”

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