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Rite Aid builds on co-branding success with Save-A-Lot deal

BY Michael Johnsen

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT There have been a spate of announcements in the past month around the growing prominence of fresh-food offerings in nontraditional retail settings (aka the corner drug store) that capitalize on the convenience opportunity a typical pharmacy footprint represents. Walgreens announced a move to bring healthier food choices to more inner-city residents, and CVS/pharmacy recently expanded its Urban Cluster store concept featuring a more prominent consumables department. But Rite Aid’s story is not a me-too story. It’s a branding story, or rather, a co-branding story.

(THE NEWS: Rite Aid inks deal with Save-A-Lot. For the full story, click here)

After all, Rite Aid has had a lot of success with their co-branding efforts. Take their partnership with GNC, for example. Rite Aid tapped a specialty retailer that is recognized by consumers for its pedigree in dietary supplements, and now that GNC store-within-a-store concept exists in almost 2,000 Rite Aid storefronts today. That partnership continues to be touted as a significant contributor to front-end performance by Rite Aid and a significant growth driver for GNC during each of those company’s respective quarterly conferences.

And now Rite Aid is joining forces with Supervalu’s Save-A-Lot banner, a food-store brand that also has a lot of traction with consumers. And Supervalu has dedicated quite a bit of capital against the rapid expansion of Save-A-Lot outlets — as many as 100 new locations are planned for the company’s current fiscal year. Further, much of that Save-A-Lot expansion is slated for the Southeast, with more than half of this year’s stores planned for the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, which means Rite Aid’s partnership with Save-A-Lot on these combo stores will benefit from some synergistic marketing.

And the coupling between Rite Aid and Save-A-Lot affords Rite Aid instant credibility in the offering of fresh foods — deli meats, fresh produce, etc. — in a channel better known for stocking strictly snack foods and such grocery items as milk, which fill a fill-in need for shoppers who are in between grocery trips.

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GSK, Genmab begin late-stage clinical trial for cancer drug

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline and biotech company Genmab have started a late-stage trial of a biotech drug for treating cancer, the two companies said.

 

GSK and Genmab announced Wednesday that they had started a phase-3 trial of the drug ofatumumab in patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma with the aim of extending survival without progression of the disease in patients did not respond to therapy with Rituxan (rituximab), a drug made by Genentech and Biogen Idec. The 338 patients in the trial have indolent B-cell NHL, which accounts for more than one-third of lymphoma cases.

 

Patients will randomly receive a combination of ofatumumab and Cephalon’s Treanda (bendamustine hydrochloride), or Treanda alone. Patients receiving Treanda alone will have the opportunity to receive ofatumumab if their disease progresses.

 

As part of an agreement between the two companies, Genmab will receive a milestone payment of $20 million.

 

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Live from your living room, it’s Saturday night

BY Allison Cerra

SEATTLE Discovery Bay Games and Broadway Video Enterprises are bringing sketch comedy series "Saturday Night Live" into living rooms nationwide with the launch of a new board game.

Currently available at such retailers as Walmart and Kmart, Saturday Night Live – The Game features a mix of "SNL"-inspired activities that will get players acting, improvising, guessing and laughing out loud. Players customize each game by choosing cards from the "SNL" eras they know best (1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s). "Saturday Night Live," which debuted in October 1975, is the most Emmy-nominated show in TV history with 126 nominations, and has been honored twice with the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award. The show has launched the careers of many of the brightest comedic talents of their respective generations.

 

“We are really happy with what Discovery Bay Games created,” said Britta von Schoeler, SVP and general manager for Broadway Video Enterprises. “The game stays true to the show’s history and allows people to bring its energy into their homes.”

 

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