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BTS, pharmacy lift sales across Southeast discount chain

BY Michael Johnsen

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Back-to-school and improved pharmacy performance lifted Fred’s sales for the month of August, the company reported Thursday.

Fred’s total sales for the four weeks ended Aug. 27 increased 3% to $137.8 million. Comparable store sales for the month increased 1.6% on top of an increase of 3.6% for the same period last year.

Fred’s total sales for the year-to-date period increased 2% to $1.1 billion. On a comparable store basis, year-to-date sales increased 0.6% versus an increase of 2.6% for the same period last year.

"We continue to see proof that our initiatives to drive sales and market share growth are resonating with challenged consumers throughout our markets," stated Bruce Efird, Fred’s CEO. "Overall, August sales mark a solid start to the third quarter."

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Carex adds Detach N’ Go pill organizers to product portfolio

BY Michael Johnsen

NORWELL, Mass. — Carex Health Brands on Thursday announced its acquisition of the Detach N’ Go brand from Inventures Products.

The Detach N’ Go product line consists of detachable pill cases that serve a niche market of people with active lifestyles.

“We were impressed with the quality and design of Detach N’ Go’s many products and how perfectly they complement our existing line of Apex medication compliance products. We plan on working seamlessly together to continue to grow the line and incorporate many of Detach N’ Go’s features into our newest products," Matt McElduff, president of Carex Health Brands. "We will also look to add their existing products to our current broad base of distribution.”

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NCHS: About half of population consumes sugar drinks on any given day

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON — A new report from the National Center for Health Statistics, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sheds light on sugar drink consumption habits among the U.S. population.

Analyzing data collected from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which was conducted from 2005 and 2008, the NCHS researchers found that about 50% of the population, ages 2 years and older, consumes sugar drinks on any given day. The prevalence, however, is higher among those ages 2 to 19 years, versus those ages 20 years and older. What’s more, about 5% of the population was recorded as consuming as much as four 12-oz. cans of cola on any given day.

The survey also found that males consumed significantly more sugar drinks on any given day, compared with their female counterparts (175 kcal vs. 94 kcal), as did low-income individuals, compared with those living at or above 350% of the poverty line.

Sugar drinks included in the analysis were fruit drinks, sodas, energy drinks, sports drinks and sweetened bottled waters, consistent with definitions reported by the National Cancer Institute, the researchers noted. Sugar drinks do not include 100% fruit juice, flavored milks and sweetened teas.

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