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‘Casino Jack’ arrives on Blu-ray, DVD this spring

BY Allison Cerra

LOS ANGELES — The story of one of Washington, D.C.’s most lucrative lobbyists caught in a whirlwind of controversy is making its Blu-ray and DVD debut April 5.

"Casino Jack," starring Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey as Jack Abramoff, is a cautionary tale about Capitol Hill intrigue. Abramoff is situated as a power player whose scheming ways land him in a web of greed and murder that turns into a worldwide scandal.

"Casino Jack" will be available on Blu-ray for the suggested retail price of $29.99, and on DVD for an SRP of $22.98, from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

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Rite Aid raises nearly $5 million for Children’s Miracle Network

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid raised $4.9 million for the Children’s Miracle Network last year, the retail pharmacy chain said Thursday.

The company said the money would fund medical care, research, education and outreach programs at 117 Children’s Miracle Network hospitals in the communities that Rite Aid serves. The retailer raised the money by selling paper Miracle Balloons for $1 and donating all proceeds to local Children’s Miracle Network hospitals, as well as through such events as bowling tournaments, parking lot carnivals and antique car shows. The 4,700-store chain has raised more than $46 million for the organization since 1994.

“There are more than 100 children’s hospitals across the country that benefit from the incredible generosity of Rite Aid associates and customers,” Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals president and CEO John Lauck said. “Rite Aid associates continue to demonstrate their commitment to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in their communities year after year, with an especially impressive $4.9 million raised in 2010.”

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New SymphonyIRI-Synovate report presents new look at Hispanic consumer

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — Hispanics will wield $1.2 trillion in buying power in less than a year, the SymphonyIRI Group and partner Synovate noted Wednesday in a new joint market research report.

The two companies created HispanicLink to help retailers and manufacturers more effectively develop marketing and merchandising programs to reach this burgeoning demographic. The analysis included intel on Hispanics’ shopping habits, cooking, eating and drinking behaviors, health-and-wellness practices and their media preferences.

“[Consumer packaged goods] retailers and manufacturers need to have a better understanding of Hispanic consumers to effectively focus their marketing efforts and win at the shelf,” stated Bob Tomei, president of consumer and shopper marketing for SymphonyIRI.

“This is no easy task when considering the complexity of the Hispanic population, so the HispanicLink report breaks down this multifaceted group in terms of acculturation, language preference and attitudes, and examines their shopping patterns and motivations,” Tomei added. “Retailers and manufacturers no longer have to take a one-size-fits-all approach with Hispanic consumers and can leverage these insights to develop targeted marketing programs.”

The report also contained a survey and shopping basket analysis component. The survey portion answered questions about Hispanic preferences to help reveal differences in attitudes and the critical “why behind the buy” among more and less acculturated Hispanic households versus non-Hispanic households. Findings included key facts about Hispanic attitudes, preferences and needs that fuel decisions and impact strategies regarding channel selection, product selection, new product opportunities and co-promotion opportunities.

The shopping basket analysis delivered an in-depth view into how Hispanic households shop various classes of trade. It also ranked which categories most likely are to appear in the cart of the average Hispanic household and compared it to a non-Hispanic household.

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