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Reporters Notebook

BY DSN STAFF

Supplier News

Bionorica announced its products’ representatives are featured in two episodes of the series “Healing Quest,” airing on select PBS stations nationwide.

“We’re delighted to spread the word about the benefits of safe and effective plant-based remedies, especially when it comes to children’s health,” stated Wolf Aulenbacher, president of U.S. operations for Bionorica. “These ‘Healing Quest’ programs will help assure parents and doctors that there are new options now available in the United States—gentle and natural alternatives to help ensure good health for the whole family.”

Guests include Robert “Dr. Bob” Sears, a pediatrician and co-author of the “Sears Parenting Library;” Marcus Laux, a licensed naturopathic physician and co-author of “Natural Woman, Natural Menopause;” and “Healing Quest” contributor Narinder Duggal, a practicing pharmacist and internist who teaches at the University of Washington.

The shows began airing in January.

Executive News

Advanced Vision Research last month named Neil Donnenfeld the company’s new CEO and director.

Donnenfeld succeeds Jeffrey Gilbard, the company’s founder, who passed away in August. Donnenfeld most recently served as SVP global sales and marketing, a position he held since 2005. Donnenfeld, 48, joined AVR in May 1998, shortly after the company was formed as an over-the-counter eye care company to market and distribute TheraTears products.

“We are eager to introduce revolutionary new products that are already in the pipeline, and look forward to the development of new advances in eye care treatment that improve patients’ lives,” Donnenfeld stated.

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Bashas’ rejects Albertsons’ buyout bid

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Bashas’ has turned down a nearly $300 million buyout offer from Albertsons, according to published reports.

According to an American City Business Journals article, the Chandler, Ariz.-based Bashas’ was uninterested in a buyout offer of $290 million for the chain.

Bashas’ filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July, announcing the following month that it would close 14 stores. Still, the published reports quoted an attorney representing the company as saying that the reorganization plan would ensure Bashas’ remained in the hands of the Bashas family, which has owned it since 1932.

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Shoppers’ new initiatives sets chain up to become retail giant

BY Michael Johnsen

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT While the decision to move in this direction may have been made before Chong Bang crossed the border, there is no questioning that industry watchers will be focused on what SDM’s new top merchant will do to further improve the stores.

(THE NEWS: Shoppers Drug Mart takes a page out of CCR playbook. For the full story, click here)

That has a lot to do with Bang’s pedigree — he’s directed a significant merchandising program at Walgreens, one of the leading pureplay pharmacies in the United States. And now he’s at Shoppers, the leading drug store retailer north of the border.

Bang will be armed at Shoppers with the sales data generated by 9.7 million members of the pharmacy’s Optimum loyalty program, 80% of whom are women. When you consider that there are only 34 million Canadians, that means that almost 1-in-3 Canadians are members of Shoppers’ loyalty program, and almost 1-in-2 Canadian women.

Presently, Shoppers plans to grow its square footage at a clip of 8% to 9% with a new distribution center slated to open in 2010 to help support that growth. And that’s really going to be Bang’s merchandising challenge — finding a way to slip one more item into that Shoppers marketbasket in a saturated marketplace. Bang certainly can’t build front-end sales by attracting new customers. There just aren’t that many Canadians who don’t already shop at Shoppers.

For Bang, it’ll be a question of optimizing categorical synergies and in doing so help drive impulse purchases. Similar to Walgreens, Shoppers is on a mission to make a good shopping experience better, and Bang’s expected to help realize that goal.

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