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Catalina’s Dick Buell exits

BY Allison Cerra

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Catalina Marketing announced this week the departure of its chairman and CEO Dick Buell.

Replacing Buell, who was part of the Catalina team since 2004, is former Catalina CEO and co-founder George Off, who was voted by the board of directors to serve as interim CEO.

During Buell’s tenure, Catalina, which has been placing emphasis on its digital couponing business, launched its Coupon Network by Catalina last month. Prior to that, the company acquired E-centives and Collabrys, two digital couponing businesses from Invenda, last spring.

Board members Philip Hammarskjold and Mike O’Brien said that "under Buell’s leadership, a number of transformational changes delivered a twofold revenue increase."

"The board wishes to thank Dick for his significant contributions to Catalina," Hammarskjold and O’Brien said. "We are pleased to welcome George Off back to Catalina, and we look forward to working with him to pursue the company¹s vision in the next chapter of Catalina’s expansion."

"It is an honor to be an active part of Catalina once again, an organization filled with smart, talented and motivated professionals," Off said. "I am personally confident in the existing, overall strategic direction, and am fully committed to continuing the advancement of the impressive performance and innovation delivered in recent years."

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NRF supports repeal of employer-mandated health care

BY DSN STAFF

WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation announced that it is endorsing legislation that would repeal the employer mandate provision of last year’s healthcare-reform law.

“The healthcare-reform law enacted last year will hurt far more than help from a small-business perspective,” NRF SVP government relations David French said in a letter to Rep. Charles Boustany, R-La., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee’s Oversight Subcommittee. “Retailers support both the overall repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act … and specific changes to the law in the interim.”

Beginning in 2014, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will require companies with 50 or more full-time workers to provide full-time workers with health insurance at government-mandated levels or pay penalties if they fail to do so. French noted that NRF argued during the debate over healthcare reform that the requirement would ultimately lead to job losses in the retail industry and said some retailers already have cut back hiring in anticipation of the mandate taking effect.

Boustany last week introduced H.R. 1744, the American Job Protection Act, which would use an amendment to the tax code to repeal the employer mandate.

“Additional healthcare costs cannot be absorbed given thin profit margins,” French said. “Fewer hires and fewer hours for retained employees is the likely outcome. Our members are already reporting fewer hires, franchises and other retail store openings as a consequence.”

NRF also has endorsed H.R. 5, the Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-Cost, Timely Healthcare Act, or HEALTH Act, a medical malpractice-reform bill introduced by Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga.

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Bite-Lite to launch mosquito-repelling candles

BY Allison Cerra

BETHEL, Conn. — A new line of mosquito-repelling candles is slated to make its nationwide debut.

Bite-Lite said its candles feature a proprietary blend of essential oils that works by attacking the mosquito’s sensors, which wards off the biting insects. Bite-Lite’s candles will be available as luminaries, soy jars, soy tins and votives.

The company said that its new mosquito-repelling candle line will be presented at the National Hardware Show this week. Bite-Lite candles will be sold by retailers across the United States and on the Bite-Lite website.

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