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New lighting product standard provides clarity for consumers

BY Allison Cerra

ST. LOUIS, Mo. Energizer announced Dec. 8 that the Flashlight Standards Committee has developed a set of flashlight features and benefits standards for consumers seeking information on such products.

Until now, there has been no consistency in how flashlight features and benefits were presented; consumers might see a flashlight that claims light output of  “3,000,000 candlepower” next to one that claims “40 lumens.” For the average consumer, these inconsistencies led to confusion and an inability to compare one product with another. The Flashlight Standards Committee published an American National Standards Institute standard, designed to help the consumer. The FL1 standard addressed six performance measurements to improve consistency and clarity for flashlight consumers.

“Consumers and the trade have been left in the dark to figure out the difference between candlepower, candela and lumens, among other inconsistent flashlight claims, which left everyone guessing about how to compare one light to another,” said Peter Nario-Redmond, technical marketing manager for Energizer and chairman of the Flashlight Standards Committee. “The goal for establishing standard measurement is to eliminate confusion and clearly communicate the features of flashlights so that consumers can make informed decisions about which product best suits their needs.”

The ANSI/NEMA FL1 – 2009 flashlight basic performance standard establishes consistent processes and definitions for reporting the following six areas of flashlight performance measurement, as well as simple icons to be printed clearly on packaging:

  • Light Output – the light projected from a flashlight will be expressed in units of lumens
  • Runtime – duration the light will operate continuously until projected light is dim
  • Beam Distance – distance the light projects onto a surface
  • Peak Beam Intensity – intensity of the projected light that does not vary with distance and expressed in units of candela 
  • Water Penetration Rating – clear definitions outlined about the difference between water-resistant, waterproof and submersible
  • Impact Resistance – after six drop tests, the flashlight must maintain all previous established measures

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Chong Bang, Walgreens’ CCR guru, leaving to join Shoppers Drug Mart

BY Jim Frederick

DEERFIELD, Ill.

Walgreens on Wednesday confirmed that Chong Bang, the merchandising executive in charge of the company’s vaunted Customer Centric Retailing initiative, will leave the company to take a position with Toronto-based Shoppers Drug Mart. His effective departure date is Dec. 18.

Bang, a five-year Walgreens merchandising veteran, is currently a divisional VP and general merchandise manager in charge of the customer-centric program, photo and the additional front-end services offered at the photo department in Walgreens’ stores. He rose to prominence last fall with his appointment as head of CCR, a sweeping and even revolutionary project aimed at pulling together the chain’s sprawling marketing and merchandising activities and focusing them more sharply on meeting and anticipating customer demands. The effort has led to a significant reduction in the SKU count and product redundancies in Walgreens’ store prototype, a major realignment of categories and adjacencies at the front end, and an ongoing effort to align the chain’s purchasing and store presentation with localized consumer demand.

Bang was once described by former Walgreens chairman and CEO Jeff Rein as “a sharp, creative, humble and extremely approachable manager,” and his leadership will likely be missed at the 7,100-store retail giant. Nevertheless, said company spokesperson Tiffani Washington, “We have a deep bench of folks dedicated to CCR and its rollout, and that team will continue to work toward having about 3,000 stores converted to CCR in fiscal 2010.”

In an interview Wednesday, she added, “We appreciate all that Chong has done for the company over the last five years, and we wish him and his family well in his new position.”

In line with the massive renewal effort that began at Walgreens in the fall of 2008, Bang oversaw the development of the CCR project, its initial test in some 35 Walgreens units in several markets, and its expansion to some 400 stores in 2009, most of them in Dallas and Houston. That rollout will dramatically accelerate next year, Washington noted.

“We’re evaluating the findings from the Texas stores and will do some tweaking,” she told Drug Store News Wednesday. “We’ll continue the rollout [of the CCR-based store overhaul program] starting in January.”

Washington said it is not yet clear whether a single executive will replace Bang as divisional VP in charge of CCR. “Obviously,” she said, “that falls within the merchandising team under [VP merchandising] Bryan Pugh, and he has a deep bench of people working on extending the rollout.”

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Former Wyeth executive joins VaxInnate

BY Alaric DeArment

CRANBURY, N.J. A former Wyeth executive will join the board of a company biotech company that develops vaccines.

VaxInnate announced Wednesday the appointment of Thomas Hofstaetter as COO. Hofstaetter was previously SVP corporate business development at Wyeth, from 2004 until the company’s recent acquisition by Pfizer. He has worked in leadership positions for the pharmaceutical industry for more than 30 years in the United States, Japan, France and his native Germany.

“We are delighted that Thomas Hofstaetter is bringing his business and scientific acumen to the VaxInnate team and look forward to tapping his experience to make VaxInnate a key player in the vaccine field,” VaxInnate president and CEO Alan Shaw said.

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