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Febreze expanding product line

BY Doug Desjardins

CINCINNATI Febreze is releasing several new products this summer as it closes in on becoming the 23rd Proctor & Gamble brand to generate $1 billion in annual sales.

The Febreze line of products, which now includes air fresheners and candles to complement its detergents and household cleaners, generated $800 million in sales last year and should come close to $1 billion in 2008. To help the brand along, P&G is launching a new ad campaign and introducing new products this summer including a combined fabric-air freshener with a pump spray that delivers a finer mist.

Febreze is also licensing products outside of P&G. It’s rolling out a new line Febreze Closet Renewable air fresheners through a deal with E-Z Do and Brandscape LLC. P&G is also planning its largest-ever marketing campaign for Febreze products this summer.

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Longs reports another profitable quarter

BY Doug Desjardins

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. Longs Drug reported an 80 percent increase in earnings of $23.5 million for its first quarter ended May 1 with revenues from its RX America PBM continuing to lead the way.

For the quarter, the 516-store chain reported an 8.5 percent increase in total revenue of $1.41 billion with retail drug sales rising 2.9 percent to $1.22 billion. Same-store sales increased 1 percent with pharmacy sales jumping 0.5 percent and front-end sales rising 1.5 percent.

By far the biggest increase was in pharmacy benefit services, which rose 67 percent to $187.3 million compared to $112 million during the same period last year. Prescription drug plan revenues generated $167 million while pharmacy benefit management revenue rose 25 percent to $20.2 million.

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Ban on plastic bags takes effect in San Francisco

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Shoppers at San Francisco drug stores will no longer hear clerks ask if they prefer paper or plastic.

The city’s law against plastic bags was extended to drug stores Tuesday. The law is meant to reduce litter and conserve the oil from which the bags are made.

Other cities in the U.S. have followed passed similar laws, as have cities in other countries, such as Paris.

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