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CRN revises membership requirements, dues structure

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Council for Responsible Nutrition on Wednesday announced changes to its bylaws, offering new classes of membership and a revised dues structure. The move allows more kinds of companies to join the association "to more fully recognize the evolving nature of the dietary supplement industry."

“CRN has been fortunate to see a steady stream of membership growth in recent years, and with these changes to our membership categories and dues structure, we are poised to welcome even more companies who manufacture or market dietary supplements or functional foods," stated Steve Mister, CRN president and CEO. "In addition, our new dues structure recognizes that many industry players have multiple roles, and more fairly reallocates the obligations of membership. Together these revisions will strengthen CRN and the future of our industry.”  

CRN now recognizes four categories of voting members — branded finished product manufacturers, contract manufacturers, ingredient manufacturers and ingredient representatives/distributors — each with different dues rates.

In addition, CRN now offers a four-tiered dues structure in the associate member category, dependent on the size of the company, making membership more affordable for single practitioners. “The bottom line,” Mister said, “is we value the role of our associate members and their continued contribution to the industry, and we needed to recognize that one-size-fits-all dues was not the ideal model for this category.”  

The revised by-laws also address the functional food category. Unlike dietary supplements, there is no regulatory definition for functional foods. Although CRN has welcomed functional food companies for over a decade, the new by-laws create a definition as “any product that is properly labeled as a ‘food’ (i.e., uses a Nutrition Facts label) under the U.S. Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act, that is formulated specifically to increase the intake of certain nutrients or other compounds and for which the manufacturer makes structure/function or health claims in its labeling.”

CRN will continue to represent store brand retailers of all sizes — those who market their own unique store brands of dietary supplements or functional foods, both brick and mortar and online. The change clarifies that these firms pay dues based only on the dietary supplements and functional foods they market under their own labels and allows them to have a voice in directing the future of the industry through CRN membership.


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Finalists named in 2013 GNP NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Wednesday announced that three teams of pharmacy students have been named finalists in the 2013 Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition. Student pharmacy teams from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Pharmacy, the University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy and the University of the Pacific Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy will present their business plans in a live competition at NCPA’s Annual Convention this October.  

“Every year, we are impressed by the quality and caliber of the student business plans, and this year is no different,” stated NCPA president Donnie Calhoun. “All of the students are to be commended on their hard work and efforts to put together a comprehensive business plan, and we look forward to seeing the top three finalists showcase their plans for independent pharmacy ownership in a live competition at our Annual Convention in October.”

This year’s competition drew submissions from 39 schools and colleges of pharmacy.

The remaining finalists in the top ten are: the University of Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy; the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy; the University of Oklahoma at Tulsa College of Pharmacy; the University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy; and Washington State University College of Pharmacy.  

All participating schools receive a plaque commemorating their participation in the competition. Each year, competing schools receive an engraved plate to add to their plaque, and teams placing in the top 10 receive a special plate acknowledging this distinction.


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99 Cents Only stores post $1.7 billion in net sales for fiscal 2013

BY Michael Johnsen

CITY OF COMMERCE, Calif. — 99 Cents Only Stores on Wednesday posted a net sales increase of 8.9% to $1.7 billion for fiscal 2013.  Same-store sales, calculated on a comparable 52-week period, increased 4.3%.  

During the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013, the dollar store operator opened seven stores in California and now operates 316 stores, an increase of 6% in store count over last year. 

For fiscal 2013, average annual sales per store for all stores open for at least 12 months, on a comparable 52-week period, were $5.3 million, compared to $5.2 million for fiscal 2012. Fiscal 2013 average annual sales per estimated saleable square foot for all stores open for at least 12 months, on a comparable 52-week period, increased to $321, compared to fiscal 2012 average annual sales per estimated saleable square foot of $309 for all stores open for at least 12 months as of March 31, 2012, the company reported.

99 Cents Only Stores plans to open some 30 new locations in fiscal 2014, all of which are expected to be opened in existing markets.


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