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Craig Rubin

BY CSA STAFF

An extensive background in textiles combined with an inventive mind helped Craig Rubin revolutionize the fabric industry. The 63-year-old businessman is the co-founder of Crypton, best known for its specially engineered fabric system. Featuring a fully integrated moisture barrier and available in a multitude of color and style options, Crypton Super Fabric is one of the most specified upholstery fabrics in the health-care and hospitality markets.

Prior to starting the business, Rubin sold textiles in the contract world for some 30 years. He understood the market and also knew what it lacked: a fabric that was resistant to moisture, stain and bacteria, yet soft, breathable and comfortable.

“After seeing a display of disposable undergarments for adults in a drug store I had an epiphany,” Rubin said. “That’s what I wanted to do with a fabric.”

He called the manufacturer, which was none too eager to share its secrets with him. Rubin spent the next several years working on his own formula. He also got married. After extensive research, he and his wife, Randy, quit their jobs to devote themselves full-time to the pursuit, assembling a top-notch research and development team.

Working in the basement of his home, Rubin and his team developed the Crypton Super Fabric formula, establishing the company in 1993.

“For the first couple of years, my wife and I literally lived on the road. But if you want to be successful, you have to believe in what you are doing and be willing to take a risk,” Rubin said.

Crypton was founded strictly as a licensing and branding company. Its business model changed in 2002 when it started manufacturing its product itself.

Co-founder Crypton West Bloomfield, Mich.Annual revenue: Approximately $25 million to $29 millionType of business: Manufacturer/licenser of fabric system; also sells related product on InternetAreas of operation: Nationwide

The majority of Crypton’s revenue is generated through licensing and manufacturing. The company works with 11 licensed mills and more than 40 distributors that sell Crypton Super Fabrics to architects and consumers. Its patented technology is engineered into every fiber, making it permanently stain, liquid, mold, bacterial and odor resistant.

Rubin is always on the lookout for ways to expand Crypton. Its offerings now include car coverings, a disinfectant and deodorizer, cleaner, a line of pet products, accessories and items that it sells direct to consumers via its Web site.

As the sole owners of Crypton, Rubin and his wife run the company together. She is responsible for marketing, branding and legal.

“We don’t step on each other’s toes, which is how we’re able to work so well together,” Rubin said.

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CompUSA may get a new look

BY CSA STAFF

ADDISON, Tx. After opening a new format store last month, CompUSA may be changing the format of its other stores, depending on customer demand and product interest.

According to reports, the elements found in the prototype store, located in Texas, will be incorporated into other CompUSA locations across the United States.

The nearly 7,700 square-ft. relocation site includes an Apple shop featuring Mac computers, iPods and Apple accessories, and a full-length LCD TV wall.

Additional expansions include extended gaming, which includes an entire wall devoted to the Nintendo Wii, PlayStation3 and Xbox 360 gaming platforms, plus a PC gaming setup to test equipment and play new titles.

While businesses can get their share of support with a specialized services section, all consumers can visit the store’s redesigned IT support area.

“This new store aligns CompUSA’s vision to better serve its three core customers, the technology enthusiast, educated professional and small and medium businesses,” said Gabriela Villalobos, the retailer’s sales and operations evp.

CompUSA announced in April that it would narrow its focus to three core customer groups rather than try to serve a mass audience.

The move was part of a comprehensive restructuring, initiated last February, that included an overhaul of senior management and the closure of half its store base as the privately held chain looked to improve sales and profitability.

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Walgreens withdraws from CVS provider plans

BY CSA STAFF

DEERFIELD, Ill. After many months of talks over low and below-market payment rates by CVS Caremark for four prescription plans, Walgreens has withdrawn as a pharmacy provider from the plans.

Patients affected include members of prescription benefit plans managed by CVS Caremark for ArcelorMittal, Johnson Controls, Progressive Casualty Insurance and Wisconsin Education Association Trust.

Most of the affected members live in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Trent Taylor, president of Walgreens Health Services, the managed care division of Walgreens, released the following statement:

“This is not where we wanted negotiations to lead,” he said. “We’re sorry that our pharmacy patients and CVS Caremark’s clients are caught in the middle, and we’ll do all we can to ensure a smooth transition for our patients to another pharmacy. Meanwhile, we’ll continue to work on resolving this issue with CVS Caremark.

“Leaving a benefits plan is an extraordinary step for us, but it demonstrates how extraordinarily low our payments were from CVS Caremark. We can’t continue accepting reimbursement rates that are drastically below market, while offering patients needed special services such as 24-hour pharmacy access and drive-thru pharmacies.”

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