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NACDS touts success of Successful Selling event

BY DSN STAFF

ALEXANDRIA, Va. Following a well-received Successful Selling Conference, hosted by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and Walgreens, the NACDS released this statement:

In its ongoing commitment to help small- and medium-sized companies successfully develop their business with drug, food and mass retailers, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores hosted its second annual Successful Selling Conference from Feb. 10–12 at the Lincolnshire Marriott in Lincolnshire, Ill.

“NACDS recognizes the overwhelming appreciation and support for this unique conference for small- and medium-sized manufacturers and will continue to host the conference annually,” said NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson.

This year’s conference was coordinated with Walgreens’ “New Vendor Days” program, which resulted in 277 twenty-minute, one-on-one appointments for vendors to present new products to the Walgreens Purchasing Team. NACDS has also extended this partnership opportunity to other retail members.

Viewed by many new and emerging companies as a helpful and hands-on learning prerequisite for the NACDS Marketplace Conference—the industry’s largest gathering of drug, food and mass retailers—the 2008 Successful Selling Conference furnished a total of 194 participating vendor companies, and an additional 900 appointments with brokers, sales & marketing companies and industry marketing consultants.

The conference included a comprehensive and appealing Successful Selling education program, which was carefully designed by the NACDS Retail Advisory Board through its Outreach & Business Development committee. The education program armed attendees with the fundamentals of bringing products to market by covering an array of timely topics: The Retail Perspective; Building Your Brand Online; Building Consumer Awareness and Consumption–Getting it Rung at the Register, The Role of Advertising and Promotion; and Business Practices–The Hoops and Hurdles.

This year’s conference speakers featured George Riedl, Executive Vice President, Marketing for Walgreen Co.,; David Van Howe, Corporate Vice President, Purchasing, Walgreen Co.; Dan Mack, Vice President, Consumer Sales & Customer Marketing, DenTek Oral Care, Inc.; Mike Jones, Vice President, Business Development and Trade Relations, Del Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; and David Staszak, Vice President of Sales, Triumph Pharmaceuticals.

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President Bush signs $168 billion economic stimulus bill

BY Adam Kraemer

WASHINGTON Still feeling some of the effects of a slower-than-normal holiday period, retailers got another boost Wednesday as Pres. George W. Bush signed into law a $168 billion economic stimulus bill.

“I know a lot of Americans are concerned about our economic future,” Bush said at a White House bill-signing ceremony. “Congress passed a really good piece of legislation.”

The measure, crafted largely by treasury secretary Henry Paulson and leaders of the House of Representatives, includes approximately $117 billion in rebate checks, tax breaks for businesses and measures aimed at easing the current mortgage market issues, according to published reports.

The president also voiced his appreciation for the members of both houses for their restraint regarding the temptation to add extra measures to the bill. “Members resisted the temptation to load up this bill with unrelated programs or unnecessary spending, and I appreciate that,” Bush said.

Last week, the National Retail Federation applauded Congress when the Senate approved their version of the House bill—with a few changes, including the addition of rebates for more than 20 million senior citizens and disabled veterans. “Expanding the rebate checks to include retirees and disabled veterans is a win-win strategy,” NRF senior vice president for government relations Steve Pfister said. “Retirees and veterans not only deserve a check, but are also among those most likely to spend the rebates so that this money gets put to work in the economy right away.”

Under the plan, individuals will receive $300 to $600, while couples will get $1,200. The full rebate, however, is limited to individuals earning $75,000 or less and families making up to $150,000. The rebates are expected to begin showing up in consumers’ mailboxes in May.

An unexpected boost in retail sales last month pushed stocks higher Wednesday and fueled hopes that the economy may avoid a recession, Dow Jones reported. The stimulus is expected to give a big push to consumption, greatly benefitting the retail sector. “Timeliness is essential, and we agree with economists who say the fastest way for stimulus to enter the economy is through the consumer,” Pfister said.

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CVS Caremark receives Pioneer Award for employer-assisted housing

BY Antoinette Alexander

WASHINGTON Homes for Working Families, a national nonprofit organization focused on improving home affordability, has announced that CVS Caremark was one of 14 award recipients of the 2008 Pioneer Awards for leadership in employer-assisted housing.

CVS Caremark was recognized for its employer-assisted housing program Prescriptions for Homeownership launched in Washington in 2005, and in Los Angeles in 2007. So far, it has helped more than 50 employees close on their homes. The company plans to expand the program to Chicago, Cleveland and Detroit this year.

“We’re proud to be able to help our employees take their first big steps toward homeownership,” stated Steve Wing, director of workforce initiatives for CVS Caremark. “Innovative programs such as Prescriptions for Homeownership provide us the opportunity to support our workforce, promote employee recruitment and retention, and improve the communities in which we do business.”

Immediately following the Feb. 11 award event on Capitol Hill, representatives from CVS Caremark and Harley-Davidson Motor Co., another award recipient, participated in a congressional staff briefing hosted by the National Housing Conference titled “Employer-Assisted Housing: Expanding Opportunities for Homeownership, Business and Community Development.” The briefing provided insights into employer programs and local implementations, as well as information on pending federal legislation that would provide federal tax credits to employers offering EAH programs.

Other recipients of the 2008 Pioneer Awards included the City of Seattle, John Hopkins University, The Schwan Food Co., and the University of Chicago and University of Chicago Medical Center.

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