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Tops expands presence in upstate New York, Vermont with acquisition of GU Markets stores

BY Allison Cerra

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. — Tops Friendly Markets has entered an agreement with C&S Wholesale Grocers affiliate GU Markets to acquire 21 supermarkets located in upstate New York and Vermont.

Tops said its acquisition will bring its number of operating stores to 153 and will expand Tops’ footprint further into areas of northern and eastern New York State and neighboring northern Vermont. For the time being, 20 of the stores will continue to operate under the Grand Union banner, while the other store will continue to operate under the Bryant’s banner.

"We are very excited about this growth opportunity for Tops, especially since these stores are a natural extension of our current footprint," Tops Markets president and CEO Frank Curci said. "We are looking forward to having these stores and the surrounding communities become part of the Tops family."

The sale is expected to close by fall 2012 and is subject to customary closing conditions. Specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

As previously reported, Tops recently boosted its retail presence with the acquisition of Penn Traffic stores in 2010.

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Wet ‘n Wild expands into an additional 500 Walmart locations

BY Antoinette Alexander

LOS ANGELES — Beauty brand Wet ‘n Wild — which is a division of Markwins North America — started the year by signing superstar Fergie as its very first global beauty ambassador, and now the brand has announced its expansion into an additional 500 Walmart stores beginning in late July.

Each new Walmart location will feature a two-foot fixture of Wet ‘n Wild products. These new fixtures also will be the debut of Fergie, marking her first appearance in-store as the face of the brand.

"We are so pleased with this Walmart expansion. Their support is a crucial element of our retail business and we look forward to furthering our partnership. With their expertise in guiding beauty brands combined with our sustained success, we’re confident we’ll both continue to grow," said Brian Talbot, the brand’s VP marketing.

 

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FDA clears Accu-Chek Combo, a blood-glucose meter and insulin pump device

BY Michael Johnsen

INDIANAPOLIS — Roche on Wednesday announced that it has received clearance from the Food and Drug Administration for its Accu-Chek Combo system for insulin pump therapy.

The Accu-Chek Combo system seamlessly combines a blood-glucose meter with an insulin pump, which are able to exchange data in both directions via Bluetooth wireless technology. The meter not only enables the user to quickly test blood-glucose levels, it allows users to remotely operate the insulin pump, and by means of an easy-to-handle bolus adviser, it provides support in defining the right amount of insulin. With this, the Accu-Chek Combo system not only supports a more targeted therapy management, but it also allows for a discreet insulin administration without the need to touch the pump, the company stated.

"The Accu-Chek Combo system clearly demonstrates Roche’s dedication to integrated diabetes management solutions, combining the technical components for blood-glucose monitoring, data management and insulin delivery," said Luc Vierstraete, head of Roche Diabetes Care. "This new system is designed to support insulin pump patients in managing diabetes easily and discreetly in their everyday life."

"With this clearance we are now looking forward to launch the second device in the U.S. this year, after the successful clearance of the Accu-Chek Nano SmartView system in the first quarter. Both launches represent a significant milestone for our Diabetes Care business," said Daniel O’ Day, chief operating officer Roche Diagnostics.

The Accu-Chek Combo system also features:

  • A full-color display that brings to life blood-glucose data, insulin dose information and pump settings;

  • Flexibility to adjust the basal rate to as low as 0.05 units per hour — in increments as precise as 0.01 units; and

  • An insulin cartridge that holds up to 315 units of insulin, one of the largest capacities among pumps sold in the U.S.


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