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Hallmark announces layoff of 335 workers

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Hallmark Cards will lay off 335 workers in the U.S. and Canada between now and March 2009, the company announced Wednesday.

The Kansas City, Mo.-based company is consolidating its greeting-card manufacturing, though will keep other areas of the business intact. It has already laid off 195 workers at its manufacturing plant in Toronto. It will gradually lay off 80 more workers from its plant in Siloam Springs, Ark., and 60 workers at its plant in Bloomington, Ind., starting later this year.

It will then move equipment to plants in Topeka and Lawrence, Kan., and also outsource some manufacturing to Asia and Mexico.

The company experienced high growth rates and $4.4 billion in revenue worldwide in 2007.

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NACDS applauds credit card expiration date bill

BY Alaric DeArment

President George W. Bush signed into law Wednesday a bill to protect drug stores from lawsuits for printing expiration dates of credit and debit cards on receipts, drawing praise from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

The Credit Card and Debit Card Receipt Clarification Act states that printing the expiration date of a customer’s credit or debit card does not violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

In the past, consumers have filed class-action lawsuits against retailers that print the expiration dates, alleging that it violates privacy, though it has not harmed consumers. The new law will allow retailers to move for dismissal of lawsuits over the practice.

“Enactment of this law sends a strong message that Congress and the President are confident in the standards that businesses use to protect consumer privacy,” said NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson. “Retailers will be able to serve their customers without the threat of bogus lawsuits that abuse the judicial system and undermine consumer protection.”

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Rite Aid, Skin Cancer Foundation partner on consumer guides

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid and The Skin Cancer Foundation are collaborating to produce guides on preventing skin cancer to Rite Aid customers.

During June and July, Rite Aid stores will distribute two free pamphlets, the “Skin Care Guide” and “Skin Care Tip Book.” The pamphlets are designed to educate people about caring for and protecting their skin throughout the year, particularly during the summer.

The Skin Care Guide, which has 11 pages, will offer information on keeping skin healthy, as well as how to pick sunscreens for different types of skin. The “Skin Care Tip Book” will have information about skin care at specific times, as well as information about care for different skin types.

The Skin Cancer Foundation estimates that more than 1 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. every year, making it the most common form of cancer. About 90 percent of skin cancers other than melanoma are caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation, though rates of melanoma are increasing faster than any other cancer.

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