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CtW Investment Group wants Rite Aid to overhaul its board

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — An investment group that holds approximately 3 million shares of Rite Aid stock is calling for an overhaul of the retail pharmacy chain’s board ahead of its annual stockholders meeting next Thursday.

In a letter to Rite Aid’s board of directors, the CtW Investment Group, which works with pension funds sponsored by unions affiliated with the nonprofit group Change to Win, said its analysis found that only 4-of-the-11 nominees named in Rite Aid’s May 13th proxy statement were sufficiently independent to represent public shareholders.

Responding to the letter, Rite Aid SVP corporate communications Karen Rugen told Drug Store News that 8-of-the-11 nominees “fully satisfy” the New York Stock Exchange’s director independence requirements.

“We have a well-qualified board with a broad and diverse range of business experience,” Rugen said.

There currently are 10 nominees for director up for election to the board, while Leonard Green & Partners announced last month that it plans to elect John Baumer to replace its member on the board, Jon Sokoloff, who has resigned. Leonard Green & Partners, an affiliate of Green Equity Investors III, has the right to elect a board member under an agreement it made with Rite Aid when it purchased stock in the company in October 1999.

In the letter, CtW Investment Group executive director William Patterson wrote, “Our company’s lackluster performance over the past decade and the daunting circumstances in which it presently finds itself are inextricably tied to a lack of needed oversight by truly independent directors, and warranted far greater treatment in the proxy statement mailed to shareholders on May 13th.”

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Mrs. Green’s officially confirms purchase of A&P Superfresh stores

BY Allison Cerra

SCARSDALE, N.Y. — Natural food retailer Mrs. Green’s Natural Market confirmed its acquisition of seven Superfresh grocery locations in Maryland and one Superfresh location in Washington, D.C., from the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Co.

"This investment is part of a strategy to grow our concept in underserved regions," said Matt Williams, CEO of Mrs. Green’s parent company, Natural Market Restaurants. "We have been exploring several options in Maryland and Washington, D.C., and this acquisition is a tremendous first step in providing consumers with healthy, natural and affordable food choices."

As previously reported by Drug Store News, A&P auctioned off 25 Southern Superfresh locations as it implements its financial and operational restructuring.

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DXG helps consumers embrace 3-D photography

BY Allison Cerra

CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. — DXG is helping photo enthusiasts snap and share 3-D pictures with its latest innovation.

The company said that its new DXG-018 3-D pocket camera and viewer brings photography to a new level. The dual-lens 3-D camera snaps color pictures, which are saved onto a SanDisk card (sold separately) and then can be printed on standard 4×6 photo paper.

Pictures automatically print as side-by-side images with dotted lines for optimal cutting and sizing to fit into 3-D cardboard viewers, which are sold with the camera bundle. Once the photos are ready, users can slide them into the viewers and check out the 3D magic, the company said.

“We are excited about the DXG-018 3-D camera and viewer because it makes 3-D technology easy, fun and accessible to every type of consumer, with no 3-D TV required,” DXG USA SVP sales and marketing Paul Goldberg said. “We designed the product with kids in mind, making it extremely easy to use and portable. The cardboard viewers are truly a fun and one-of-a-kind way to share 3-D memories.”

The DXG-018 3-D camera bundle includes three cardboard viewers and retails for $69.99.

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