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Milk-Bone leverages tech site to promote brand

BY CSA STAFF

Milk-Bone has teamed up with lifestyle technology company Brit + Co. to help launch a new pets destination website at brit.co. To celebrate the partnership, Milk Bone is holding a Halloween "Trick or Treat Best Pet Costume Contest."

The contest will position the dog treat brand to reach out to an estimated 22 million people who will spend $330 million on pet Halloween costumes this year, according to the National Retail Federation.

Brit + Co.’s rapidly growing platform features DIY projects, innovative apps and gadgets for pet parents.

"Milk-Bone understands the strong bond between dogs and pet parents, and we are so excited to be involved in such an innovative online community that encourages creativity, fun and gives pet parents a new way to express their love of pets online," said Gina Squara, digital director at Del Monte pet products.

The new Brit + Co. Pets hub will feature an array of posts including DIY pet toys, tricks, new pet technology, travel tips and services, how to improve overall pet parenting and gifts for the holidays.

"We are thrilled to be expanding Brit + Co and taking it to the next level," said Brit Morin, CEO and founder of Brit + Co. "More than 60 percent of our online community are pet parents, so we believe this hub, and our partnership with Milk-Bone, is the perfect addition for the continued growth of our site."

The contest runs from now through Nov. 2. Consumers can participate for the chance to win a number of prizes, including a monthly dog box subscription, customizable bed, collars and leashes, as well as a year’s supply of Milk-Bone.

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Fred’s credits pharmacy comps, script growth for Sept. sales growth

BY CSA STAFF

Fred’s saw positive performance in its general merchandise and pharmacy departments, which lead to sales of $177.3 million in September, an increase of 4% over September 2012.

The Memphis, Tenn.-based company, which operates 702 stores in the South, said same-store sales increased by 2.8%, compared with a 3.8% decrease last year.

For the year to date, sales were $1.3 billion, a 1% increase over $1.3 billion during the same period last year. Same-store sales increased by 0.8%, compared with a 1.2% decrease last year.

"This improvement reflected ongoing positive trends in our general merchandise and pharmacy departments," Fred’s CEO Bruce Efird said. "We continue to experience success from our reconfiguration plan, as the pharmacy department comparable-store sales and script growth were key to this month’s performance."

Efird also said the chain rolled out its reconfiguration plan — which includes an expanded Health Aids department and an auto and hardware department — to 95 more stores, meaning 320 stores in total are now reconfigured.

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Vitamin Shopper director heads to Men’s Wearhouse board

BY CSA STAFF

The Men’s Wearhouse has appointed Vitamin Shoppe director B. Michael Becker to its board of directors.

Becker has served as a director at Vitamin Shoppe since January 2008 and is chairman of its audit committee. He spent his career as an audit partner for Ernst & Young LLP from 1979 until his retirement in 2006. He was a senior consultant on airline risks to Pay Pal from August 2008 to November 2009.

“I’m pleased to welcome Michael to the board,” said Doug Ewert, president and CEO of Men’s Wearhouse. “He brings extensive accounting experience in our industry, highlighted by years in public accounting as well as his service as a current board member and Audit Committee chairman at Vitamin Shoppe.”

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