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Houchens Acquires Cohen’s Fashion Optical

BY CSA STAFF

Garden City, N.Y. Kentucky-based Houchens Industries Inc. completed the acquisition of Cohen’s Fashion Optical on Monday. The chain, which operates more than 100 stores across New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Florida and Puerto Rico, could expand into a national chain under Houchens’ direction, according to Houchens’ president Spencer Coates.

Under the agreement, Robert Cohen, president of Cohen Fashion Optical, will stay on as the president of the Cohen’s division within Houchens. The new company will also retain the chain’s management team to run daily operations. Other than reporting that the acquisition was a cash deal, Houchens did not disclose additional terms of the acquisition.

The acquisition marks Houchens’ leap into a new retail segment, according to the company’s chairman, Jimmie Gipson. Houchens, which is a 100% employee-owned company, founded and created a network of grocery stores that operate under the banners Food Giant, IGA, Piggly Wiggly and Mad Butcher.

Houchens is currently considering three or four other acquisitions, according to Coates.

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A&P adds ACE breads to select stores

BY CSA STAFF

MONTVALE, N.J. A&P has partnered with ACE Bakery, a leading artisan bakery supplier, to bring a select line of stone-ground whole grain breads to certain A&P, Waldbaum’s, The Food Emporium and Super Fresh stores.

According to A&P, it will be the first grocery chain to offer a dedicated whole grain bread product line.

“Studies show that eating more whole grains rather then refined grains reduces your risk of diabetes, helps you maintain your weight, and cuts your risk of stroke and heart disease.  ACE whole grain breads have been recognized by the Whole Grains Council as one of the wholesome, delicious ways for consumers to ensure they are getting the recommended servings of whole grains,” said Linda Haynes, co-founder of ACE Bakery.

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B&N unveils interactive book studio

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK Barnes & Noble has launched a new multimedia desitination on Barnes & Noble.com that features video and audio series geared toward bibliophiles. According to Barnes & Noble, the Barnes & Noble Studio (www.bn.com/studio) will include original content about books, readers and writers, complemented by user-generated material.

Barnes & Noble Studio will be the destination for book lovers. A place where readers will go for inspiration and discovery, to view and listen to content and recommend it to other readers who share their literary interests and passions, said Mike Skagerlind, vp and head of digital media for Barnes & Noble.com. Our programming celebrates the diversity and creativity that surround the world of books, authors and readers in a way that is useful, entertaining, and accessible. Barnes & Noble Studio will do for the book what the cooking show did for the recipe. 

Programs on Barnes & Noble Studio include, “Barnes & Noble Tagged!,” a Web series that focuses on the latest in book news, and “Book Obsessed,” a documentary-style series that examines the lives of passionate readers. Visitors to the Studio can also find book-related videos on a variety of genres including fiction, mystery and romance.

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