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Sandy expected to dent RAD’s November comps, but not FY ’13 earnings

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — All the Rite Aid stores affected by Hurricane Sandy have reopened except one, the company said Monday.

The store that hasn’t opened, in Lavallette, N.J., is on a barrier island and is closed due to restricted access to the island. In addition, three stores in New York and one in New Jersey have established temporary pharmacies while their front ends are under repair. The company closed 790 stores at the height of the storm.

While the company expects the storm to have a detrimental effect on the its November same-store sales, it is not expected to have a "material impact" on its fiscal year 2013 results, the company said.

"Our store, field and corporate associates have worked tirelessly from planning before the storm hit to serving the immediate and ongoing needs of our patients and customers in the communities affected by Hurricane Sandy," Rite Aid chairman, president and CEO John Standley said. "I am proud of their outstanding dedication and commitment."

The company also highlighted its contributions to relief efforts, such as its donation of $100,000 to the American Red Cross and more than four truckloads of bottled water worth more than $30,000 to communities in the Queens and Staten Island boroughs of New York City.

 

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30 Watt introduces Connect-A-Cord PrankPack

BY Rebecca Haughey

MINNEAPOLIS – The pranksters at 30 Watt have introduced a new way to fool family and friends this holiday season, with a fake new product that supposedly solves the issue of hard-to-reach electrical devices — Connect-A-Cord, 50 one-foot sections of cord — the company announced on Monday.

With 50 separate cords, Connect-A-Cord is a new solution to tangled cords, the product’s box claims. The product’s packaging also boasts that it comes with an optional contractor case for tangle-free storage.

"Connecting 50 one-foot cords to reach an electrical outlet doesn’t sound like an ideal extension cord, but it sounds like a great prank gift box," said Arik Nordby, creative director at 30 Watt. "The product is fake, but the box looks like the real deal."

Placing a real gift inside a PranckPack, like the box for Connect-A-Cord, can make gift-giving more eventful. As the recipient opens up the Prank Pack, they will discover the bright yellow flaps inside that read, "Prank You!"

"In addition to the multiple styles to currently choose from, we hope consumers will be eager to find out what new PrankPacks will be added to the line every year, and enthusiastically select the vessels for their gift delivery," Nordby said.

The Connect-A-Cord PrankPack is currently available at PrankPack.com for $8.00.

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Ballantyne Brands advances share of electronic cigarette market

BY Rebecca Haughey

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Ballantyne Brands, an electronic cigarette provider, on Monday announced the introduction of a new premium brand, NEO. The company also announced that it has acquired the Mistic brand of electronic cigarettes for an undisclosed amount, and has secured an investment partner to support its business for the long term.

"With both the launch of NEO and purchase of Mistic, we are now poised to capture a significant share of the electronic cigarette market over the next six months and beyond," said John Wiesehan, Jr., Ballantyne Brands CEO. "Additionally, with the strong support from our capital partners, there is no limit to how much growth we can achieve."

The acquisition of Mistic was critical to Ballantyne Brands’ goal of becoming a top electronic provider in the marketplace, providing the company with a brand that currently has both equity in the marketplace and a strong consumer base. The company has the full support of its suppliers, and will be able to leverage it production capacity in the future.

Electronic cigarettes are alternatives for traditional tabacco; NEO and Mistic electronic cigarettes — often called "e-cigs" — are available in both traditional tobacco and menthol flavors.

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