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DR growlers grow in Brooklyn

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — The inhabitants of Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood tend to like their independent, mom-and-pop stores. So it’s no surprise that the recent opening of a Duane Reade store on Bedford Avenue caused some controversy among residents. But then again, Duane Reade is no ordinary drug store chain, and it showed its independent spirit with something far from controversial: beer.

The new store includes a huge walk-in beer closet with a selection of beers ranging from locally brewed Brooklyn Brewery lagers to pricey Chimay Trappist ale imported from Belgium. It also includes a beer tap where patrons can buy growlers full of specialty microbrews for $7.99.

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Bob Kwait, Richard Braddock receive Good Scout award

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Industry veteran Bob Kwait, chairman and COO of Bob Kwait Consulting Group, and FreshDirect chairman and CEO Richard Braddock were honored Wednesday during the 2010 Consumer Products "Good Scout" Award Luncheon in New York.

The annual luncheon, presented by the Greater New York Councils of Boy Scouts of America, was held at Hilton New York.

As the 2010 recipients of the Good Scout award, Kwait and Braddock were recognized for their exemplification of the ideals of the Boy Scouts of America as expressed in the Scout Oath and Law. Recipients are chosen for their community service, as evidenced by their leadership to many organizations, as well as the respect and esteem in which their colleagues hold them.

Kwait has more than 50 years in the consumer packaged goods industry. He has helped pioneer the development of private-label brands in the retail pharmacy industry and has developed store brands in sun care, vitamins, diagnostics, infant products, feminine hygiene, adult incontinence and over-the-counter cold remedies.

Kwait started his career at Gray Drug Stores in 1958. In 1974, he joined CVS/pharmacy and served as the director of purchasing. In 1979, he returned to Gray Drug Stores as EVP marketing and assisted with the acquisition of Drug Fair. In 1981, Robert J. Kwait & Associates was formed.

Braddock began his business career in 1965, spending a number of years in product management at General Foods. In 1973, he joined Citicorp, was elected to the board of directors in 1985 and was elected president and COO of Citicorp and its principal subsidiary, Citibank N.A., in January 1990. Braddock resigned from Citicorp in 1992. His professional experience also includes serving as CEO of Medco Containment Services until its acquisition by Merck, as chairman of True North Communications and as chairman and CEO of Priceline.com. In March 2008, he became chairman and CEO of FreshDirect.

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Kroger’s Q3 shows big improvement from last year

BY Allison Cerra

CINCINNATI — Kroger’s third-quarter revenue, including fuel, leaped 5.9% to $18.7 billion, the supermarket giant reported Thursday.

Excluding fuel sales, total sales increased 3.1% in the third quarter, which ended Nov. 6, the company noted. Earnings per share for the company rose to 32 cents per share, totaling $202.2 million. During the same period last year, Kroger reported a net loss of $874.9 million, or $1.35 per diluted share, after the company’s $1.05 billion write-down of its Ralphs division.

The strong quarterly results could be attributed to Kroger’s Customer 1st strategy, Kroger chairman and CEO David Dillon said. Back in 2007, the Kroger head said that the company’s business model was "creating a unique competitive advantage that positions us well for multiple-year growth and ongoing value creation [for our shareholders]."

"Our team increased identical-supermarket sales, earnings and earnings per share in the third quarter while controlling expenses to keep prices low for our customers. These results show Kroger’s strategy is working and that our core grocery business is strong and resilient," Dillon said of the third-quarter results.

Looking ahead, Kroger’s fiscal year 2010 guidance was lowered from a range of 2% to 3%, to a range of 2.5% to 3% for its same-store sales growth. The company’s earnings per share range also was narrowed from $1.60 to $1.80 per diluted share down to $1.65 to $1.78 per diluted share.

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