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NCR exits DVD rental biz through Redbox deal

BY Allison Cerra

OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. — Automated retail kiosks operator Redbox has agreed to purchase assets from NCR’s entertainment line of business, including DVD kiosks, certain retailer contracts and DVD inventory.

NCR, which will be paid up to $100 million for the assets by the Coinstar subsidiary, said the business move is part of an effort to focus on other targeted industries.

In line with the assets purchase, Coinstar said it will also will enter into a strategic supplier arrangement where it will purchase product and services from NCR.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in third quarter 2012.

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Kinney merchandising department gets makeover

BY Alaric DeArment

GOUVERNEUR, N.Y. — Regional chain Kinney Drugs has promoted several executives in an effort to realign its merchandising department, the company said Wednesday.

Kinney, which operates stores in northern New York and Vermont, said the promotions would allow it to enhance relations with vendors and product planning and deliver improved product assortments.

"These changes are part of a long-term plan," VP retail merchandising Rick Cognetti said. "We want to ensure that the necessary merchandising structure is in place to support consumer demands and Kinney Drugs’ continued success."

Category division manager Cheri Taylor has been promoted to the new position of director of retail merchandising, in which she’ll be responsible for developing and implementing sales and promotional strategies, ensuring that sales and gross margin goals are met and the development of effective category management practices.

Merchandising presentation supervisor Marc Baum has been promoted to category manager in general merchandise, replacing the recently retired Sue Easton.

Steve Harris, who recently began working for the company as inventory and replenishment manager, will continue to take an active role in the implementation of supply chain software and will be a key player in developing an "advanced replenishment and inventory-control structure."

Taylor and Harris will report to Cognetti, while category managers will report to Taylor.

"This realignment positions us well for the future and will enable us to better deliver on our strategy of value, convenience and exceptional customer service while meeting the evolving needs of customers," Cognetti said.

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Zak Designs rolls out Back to College line

BY Allison Cerra

SPOKANE, Wash. — Zak Designs has introduced new mealtime products ideal for college students.

The new Back to College line, includes durable dinner plate, individual bowl and 24-oz. tumbler, along with a 14-oz. double-wall travel tumbler and 25-oz. Tritan water bottle.

Each of the items are available in Muppets characters or Hello Kitty, Zek Designs said.

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