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Vitamin Shoppe cleared for Super Supplements takeover

BY Katherine Boccaccio

North Bergen, N.J. — The Vitamin Shoppe said Monday it was notified by the FTC that it has been cleared to acquire Super Supplements, with a targeted closing date of Feb. 15.

In December, the vitamin retailer had announced it would purchase the assets of Super Supplements, a specialty retailer of vitamin, mineral and supplements, for $50 million.

Super Supplements operates 31 stores in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, and expands Vitamin Shoppe’s presence in the Pacific Northwest where it currently operates 17 stores.

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Wet Seal needs new fit for COO

BY CSA STAFF

FOOTHILLS RANCH, Calif. — The Wet Seal Inc. on Friday announced that its COO is resigning as the struggling retailer initiates a corporate workforce reduction as part of a broader cost-saving initiative. In other moves, it will shutter two poor-performing Arden B stores.

The struggling chain, which also authorized a $25 million stock buyback program, said president and COO Ken Seipel resigned effective immediately. His position will not be filled. Instead, Seipel’s duties will be shared between CEO John Goodman and CFO Steve Benrubi.

The Wet Seal said it cut 32 positions in its corporate offices and three in the field. The total workforce reductions, including the elimination of the COO position, are expected to result in annualized pre-tax savings of approximately $3.8 million beginning in fiscal 2013. The company expects to record a one-time charge of $1.3 million in its fourth quarter for severance charges.

The retailer also announced planned fiscal 2013 cost reductions of approximately $2.5 million for store labor through staffing efficiency measures and approximately $2.1 million for several other cost savings plans.

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Food safety group adds three to board

BY CSA STAFF

The Global Food Safety Initiative has named three new members to its board of directors. The appointments were effective as of January 2013.

Joining the board are:

John Carter, senior director own brand and product quality assurance, Metro Cash & Carry, Germany

Anthony C. Huggett, VP quality management, Nestlé, Switzerland

Jian Xu, VP China Resources Vanguard Corporation, China

Carter joined Metro Cash and Carry International in 2012. He is currently responsible for the safety and quality of Metro Own Brand products, both food and non-food, in the 29 countries in which Metro operates. Prior to this he was the director of corporate quality for the Central/Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEEMA) Region of Kraft Foods International. John has a degree in Chemical Engineering from London South Bank University, and an MBA from Cambridge University in the UK.

Huggett, during his 23 years at Nestlé, has held a variety of positions in the areas of food safety and quality management in Europe and in Asia. Before joining Nestlé, Huggett, who earned a Ph.D. in Biochemistry & Toxicology from the University of London, UK, worked for 6 years as a research scientist in the area of cancer aetiology at the National Cancer Institute at NIH in Bethesda, Maryland. In 2011, he was appointed as head of quality Management for Nestlé with strategic and functional leadership for the 8000 quality and food safety professionals in the Nestlé group.

Xu is the VP general manager of the Northwest business branch for China Resources Vanguard Corporation (CRV) based in Xi’an, Shanxi province, China. He is a graduate of Xi’an Jiao Tong University and majored in Business Administration. Xu started his career in the retail industry with Xi’an HOME CLUB Supermarket in 1999. Prior to joining CRV, he spent nearly five years as VP for Tianjin Jiashijie Chain Commercial Group. He joined China Resources Vanguard in April 2007 as the General Manager of the northwest region and is in charge of the group quality management.

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