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ReportersNotebook — General Merchandise, 5/30/11

BY Barbara White-Sax

SUPPLIER NEWS — Ziploc has launched its Versa­Glass products, which are designed to go from the fridge to the microwave or oven — at temperatures of up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit — and straight to the dinner table, the company said. The containers also are dishwasher-safe and available in six sizes, ranging from $4.19 to $8.99, or in a variety pack of three containers for $17.99.


Cottonelle is bringing back its Get Fresh With a Friend program that allows consumers to get a free tub of the brand’s flushable moist wipes and send one to a friend or family member. Consumers that visit GetFreshWithAFriend.com can receive a coupon for a free One Touch dispensing tub of Cottonelle flushable moist wipes with a Cottonelle Easy Reach hanger for themselves and a friend by providing their mailing address and their friend’s email address. A 42-count tub of flushable moist wipes carries a suggested retail price of $2.89.


MidWest is expanding its accessories lineup with new MidWest Garden Markers. The 10-in. high steel wire constructions with copper marker identification panels are available in packaged sets of six markers with a black waterproof marker pencil, letting garden enthusiasts easily identify what is growing in their garden and where.

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Stepping up retail gadgetry

BY Antoinette Alexander

TEANECK, N.J. — Aetrex Worldwide is bringing shoppers a one-of-a-kind shopping experience featuring the most advanced technology in the footwear industry with the opening of its first retail concept in Englewood, N.J. An invite-only grand opening celebration will be held June 2.


While Aetrex is clearly focused on selling shoes, the new store opens a window onto how retailers across various channels can use technology to “step up” customer experience. The 2,400-sq.-ft. store features iStep Wave, a digital foot-scanning technology that measures foot size and determines arch type and pressure points in less than 30 seconds. The Wave can be operated with handheld wireless devices with foot scans instantly displayed on a monitor or sent virally via MMS or email to customers. Customers also can interact with one of two “Magic Tables,” which are powered by Microsoft Surface technology. The touchscreen technology enables customers to learn about Aetrex products by placing the shoe on the graphical interface. There’s also mobile point-of-sale technology by Apple that streamlines the entire purchase process with a bar code scan. The handheld mobile device checks for inventory and allows customers to pay with a credit card swipe, while an e-receipt is sent via email.

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Former A&P executive joins Rite Aid

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid has appointed David Kelly as group VP construction, the retail pharmacy chain said Monday.

Kelly, who has worked in real estate and development for more than 25 years, will start work May 31 and will have overall responsibility for all store planning and construction services, in addition to having a role in various segmentation initiatives, including Wellness, value and co-branded Save-A-Lot/Rite Aid stores. He will report directly to SVP, CFO and chief administrative officer Frank Vitrano.

“David brings [more than] 25 years of vast development and real estate expertise to Rite Aid,” Vitrano stated. “His proven ability and experience with a diverse portfolio of retail projects will be a valuable asset at the company, especially as we continue to implement and grow our segmentation strategies.”

Most recently, Kelly was SVP real estate and development for the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. supermarket chain, also known as A&P. He began his retail career in 1987 as a construction project manager for Pathmark Stores, a supermarket chain operating in the Northeast.

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