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Speck unveils two new lines of iPad Mini cases

BY DSN STAFF

PALO ALTO, Calif. — Speck today introduced its new CandyShell and SmartShell cases for the iPad Mini at the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The two covers in the CandyShell line for the iPad Mini — CandyShell and CandyShell Grip — both offer the patented dual-layer design and are available in various on-trend colors for 2013. The CandyShell cover has a hard outer shell to protect the iPad Mini from impact, plus stylish glossy finish. The interior is soft and rubbery to absorb shock from those occasional clumsy moments when the tablet gets dropped or bumped. A Built-in raised bezel protects the screen, and rubberized covers shield the buttons.

The CandyShell Grip was originally designed for the iPod Touch, but was expanded to other products after seeing widespread success with the iPhone. The CandyShell Grip for the iPad Mini provides the same patented dual-layer design as the CandyShell, but also offers interwoven plastic and rubber grips for an easy-to-hold, gamer-friendly design.

"The CandyShell design offers both style and protection, which make sense for the smaller, more portable iPad Mini," said Bryan Hynecek, VP design for Speck. "We’ve also seen a lot of people on the go with the iPad Mini, so we felt an easy-to-hold case like CandyShell Grip was a good fit for the way the device is being used."

Speck’s new SmartShell for iPad Mini, also new at CES this year, complements the Apple Smart Cover, protecting the back of the iPad Mini and securing the Smart Cover in place when open so the tablet can lay flat from edge to spine.

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Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll finds usage of retail health clinics, worksite clinics on rise

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — The use of retail-based health clinics and worksite facilities has increased in recent years, thanks in large part to a combination of quality, accessibility and affordability, according to a new Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll.

The online survey of more than 3,000 U.S. adults, which was conducted in early December, found that 27% of all adults surveyed said they have used either walk-in retail clinics (19%) or work-based clinics (11%) to obtain medical care in the past two years. That compares with 7% in 2008.

The survey also found that people were most likely to visit either a retail or work-based clinic for acute ailments such as colds or flu-like symptoms, minor cuts and wounds, and for routine needs such as flu shots, prescriptions and blood-pressure or cholesterol screenings.

According to the survey, respondents who had used such a clinic were generally happy with the care they received.

Patricia McGaffigan, interim president of the National Patient Safety Foundation, was quoted as saying in a HealthDay article on the survey, “The proliferation of these clinics is helping to absorb a lot of healthcare issues. Many [health-related] episodes can, in fact, be treated and treated very well by folks who are trained and who are following evidence-based guidelines.”

To read the entire article, click here.

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Lou D’Ambrosio to step down as Sears Holdings CEO

BY Alaric DeArment

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — The CEO of Sears Holdings is stepping down due to unspecified family health reasons, the company said.

Sears, the parent company of Kmart, said Lou D’Ambrosio would step down on Feb. 2, the end of the company’s fiscal year. Edward Lampert will assume the role of CEO and chairman, while D’Ambrosio will remain on the board until the company’s next annual meeting, in May 2013.

"The board greatly appreciates Lou’s strong leadership in accelerating the transformation of Sears Holdings, and we understand and respect his personal decision to step down," Lampert said. "Lou has guided Sears Holdings during a time of rapid industry change to become a more customer- and member-focused company and positioned us to lead in integrated retail. His contributions to our company have been significant, and the entire Sears Holdings family wishes Lou and his family the very best."

"It has been a true privilege to serve the customers, members, shareholders and associates of Sears Holdings," D’Ambrosio said. "This was a very difficult decision, but necessary for family considerations."

In other news, the company reported its quarter-to-date performance for fourth-quarter 2012. The company said comps declined 1.8% due to sales declines in the consumer electronics category; excluding that category, comps declined by 0.2%, including a 2.4% increase in U.S.-based Sears stores and a 2.4% decrease at Kmart, with Sears’ increase driven by apparel and appliance sales, while Kmart saw declines in consumer electronics, pharmacy, grocery, household and drug categories; the pharmacy decline was due to greater dispensing of generics. Meanwhile, Sears and Kmart saw online sales increase by 20%.

The company expects a net-loss for the quarter of between $280 million and $360 million, compared with a $2.4 billion net-loss in fourth quarter 2011.

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