Reporters Notebook — General Merchandise, 12/13/10
Supplier News — Say goodbye to sweat stains with a new pretreatment stain remover from PharmaWorks. PitStop, PharmaWorks’ new innovation, removes stubborn yellow armpit stains by lifting and dissolving sweat-stain deposits, and it even can be used on old stains and rings around shirt collars. PitStop retails for $12.50 for a 12-oz. bottle.
Bic is gearing up to unveil two special-edition series of lighters in the new year. Coming soon are the animal series and pop culture series of lighters, which feature a broad array of designs to fit any consumer’s personality. Each lighter will carry a suggested retail price of $1.59. “The fresh, eye-catching designs are instantly recognizable by both males and females that identify with popular culture or strong-willed animals,” said Mark Funderburk, associate brand manager of lighters at Bic Consumer Products USA.
Clear Conscience Pet has developed a new line of pet treats that includes natural roasted bison liver and bison cartilage chews. The treats are grain-free and gluten-free, with no chemical preservatives or additives, as well as no added growth hormones, steroids or antibiotics. The liver treats are made with a patent-pending process that combines organic vegetables with the healthy meats, the company said.
American Greetings is bringing laughs on the go with its latest line. Pocket Talkers offer a whole new take on funny sound cards. The cards feature detachable talking characters that are sure to entertain, the company said. Each “talker” is mounted to the front of the greeting card and is ready to serve up a series of funny audio clips at the push of a button.
Changing Channels — Hot products outside of food, drug and mass
NEW YORK — Sagging, the practice of letting one’s pants hang slightly below the waist in a way that exposes the underwear, is a fashion trend that has inspired heated debate of a sort unseen since the mink stole, pitting supporters of free expression against those who see it as indecent exposure. Like fur, it likely will stick around for some time, so inventor Andrew Lewis has taken the pragmatic route with Subs, launched by Hatch Ventures. Subs work like suspenders or garters, holding pants up so that they don’t fall down too low and inhibit wearers’ ability to walk and climb stairs. Subs retail for around $34.95, and products also come packaged in kits.
BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — It may be stay- indoors season now, but spring will arrive in a few months, bringing Americans out for camping, fishing and other outdoor activities. United Spirit of America has unveiled Basic Edition, a line of personal care products designed for outdoor enthusiasts, military and law-enforcement personnel. The products make personal care easy while delivering protection against sun exposure, insects and germs. Products include a combination shampoo, body wash and shaving lather; a sunscreen spray that also acts as an insect repellant; anti-fungal foot powder; and anti-bacterial gel. Prices range from $1.99 for the antibacterial gel to $8.99 for the foot powder.
SAN ANTONIO — It’s common for parents washing babies’ cloth diapers to end up with an un- pleasant ammo- nia smell, but Texas-based Rockin’ Green has created a way to get rid of the scent. Funk Rock is designed to eliminate the ammonia smell that emanates from cloth diapers in half an hour or less. The product uses a natural ammonia-busting compound that eliminates odors with a few tablespoons. Funk Rock also works on odors from pets’ urine. It is available in 9-oz., one-month supplies for $12.95.
NEW YORK — It’s hard to convince most small children that medicine will help them when it tastes positively vile, but one doctor who encountered this dilemma with his two small children created Sippy Sure, a sippy cup that mixes medicine with more palatable beverages. The cup, launched by Iatrical Innovations, works by keeping the medicine and the beverage separate, but mixing them together when a child drinks from it in a way that will administer the medicine without the child detecting it. The cup retails for $8.99.
Dollar General raises guidance after strong Q3
GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. — Dollar General reported that its third-quarter net income was $128 million, or a diluted earnings per share of 37 cents.
Excluding a net loss of $8 million ($5 million after income taxes) relating to the early repayment of certain long-term obligations, net income for the 2010 third quarter was $133 million, or a diluted EPS of 39 cents, a 76% increase over net income of $76 million, or 24 cents per diluted share, in the third quarter of fiscal 2009.
The boost prompted the company to raise its full-year adjusted earnings per share guidance to the range of $1.78 to $1.81, Rick Dreiling, chairman and CEO said.
Net sales for the quarter increased 10.1% to $3.22 billion in third quarter 2010, compared with $2.93 billion in the year-ago period. Same-store sales increased 4.2% in the 2010 quarter and 9.2% in the 2009 quarter, with customer traffic and average transaction amounts contributing to the same-store sales increases in both periods.