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CES features smaller inexpensive products

BY DSN STAFF

LAS VEGAS —The standout products at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last month were giant plasma TVs and wireless camcorders, but there were also dozens of smaller products on display that will show up in the GM aisles of drug stores this spring.

They included Jelleeze earbuds from Maxell, a new line of tiny, colored earphones designed to match the many colors of the iPod. The colorful earphones work with any MP3 player or iPod and have arrived in stores already. As Maxell executive vice president Don Patrican noted, the new line arrives at a time when the industry is making the transition rapidly from an era of bulkier headphones. “Earbuds used to be a small part of the business but last year they accounted for 65 percent of headphone sales,” Patrican said.

Micro Innovations is another company that will be making CE products more colorful with its corded laser mouse line in such colors as steel blue and pink. It’s also rolling out a line of multi-colored, small mobile speakers and USB hubs that come in purple, green and black.

And Jasco was at CES showcasing its latest products, including a new line of GE-branded Bluetooth headsets.

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Report says Tesco looking at expansion in Chicago

BY Doug Desjardins

CHICAGO Tesco is looking to roll out Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets in the Chicago area, according to a report in the Chicago Sun Times.

The newspaper attributed the report to a “knowledgeable source” and said Tesco could offer the Chicago area something “unique because of its strong offering of prepared foods, packaged perishables and selection of produce, meat and bakery.”

Tesco has not commented on the report and has said it plans to expand on the West Coast in 2008, opening stores in California, Nevada and Arizona. The chain opened its first store in December and plans to have up to 50 Fresh & Stores open by the end of February.

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Lubin promoted to Walgreens vp and new second position

BY DSN STAFF

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens today promoted Steven Lubin to divisional vice president and the new position of general manager of marketing for non-mainland operations. In his new role, Lubin will ensure the company’s marketing meets the needs of customers in Puerto Rico and Hawaii.

As general manager of marketing for Puerto Rico, Lubin spent the past three years living on the island. He is relocating back to the company’s Deerfield, Ill., headquarters for his new duties.

“Steve was a huge asset in Puerto Rico as we worked to better meet the unique needs of our island customers,” said Walgreens chairman and chief executive officer Jeffrey Rein. “He also was invaluable as we opened our first Hawaii store last year, quickly grasping what Hawaiian customers want in a drug store and working with a Walgreens team to buy from many local vendors. Steve’s a big part of our early, strong success in Honolulu.”

Lubin joined the company in 1970 as a stock clerk in Chicago while attending college. He managed several Chicago-area stores before moving into Walgreens’ purchasing department in 1980. He was promoted to a divisional merchandise manager in 1988 and to general manager of marketing for Puerto Rico in 2004. 

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