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West coast flagship marks Walgreens 8,000th unit

BY CSA STAFF

The iconic Los Angeles intersection of Sunset and Vine is the location of a new flagship store Walgreens has designated as its 8,000th unit.

The location is the company’s first flagship store on the West Coast and features extensive collection of innovative offerings, products and services unexpected from a traditional drug store. The store’s expanded features include a LOOK Boutique beauty department with dozens of prestige and niche cosmetic, skin care and hair care brands not typically found in drug stores. As part of it, Britain’s leading skin care brand, No7, created by Boots, will be available in a Walgreens store for the first time. No7 is well-known for its range of anti-aging beauty serums, all independently scientifically tested.

The availability of No7 products at this Walgreens follows the strategic partnership between Walgreens and Alliance Boots, an international pharmacy-led health and beauty group. Last June, Walgreens and Alliance Boots entered into a strategic transaction designed to create the first global pharmacy-led, health and well-being enterprise. The LOOK Boutique also will be staffed with specially trained beauty advisors, including a No7 beauty advisor. Expert shaping and grooming services will be available at the Eyebrow Bar.

"We are thrilled to locate our milestone 8,000th store and latest flagship store at such a famous intersection as we bring a format unlike any traditional drug store to the Hollywood community," said Joe Magnacca, Walgreens president of daily living products and solutions. "Walgreens aims to be America’s first choice for health and daily living, and we look forward to providing an exceptional experience for our customers as we help them get, stay and live well."

Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said he was proud that Walgreens chose the Hollywood neighborhood for its 8,000th store because it will improve access to pharmacy, health and wellness services.

"This flagship location brings not only a unique retail offering to this community, but also additional jobs and economic investment that help build a vibrant neighborhood," Villaraigosa said.

Unique features of the store include the following:

* An enhanced pharmacy designed to encourage greater interaction between pharmacists and patients. Team member "health guides" will help pharmacy customers navigate a wide range of health-and-wellness products, services and resources, including immunizations and health tests. The pharmacy also features an "Ask Your Pharmacist" desk, consultation rooms and Express Rx kiosks for swift checkout.

* A wide variety of fresh hand-rolled sushi and sashimi prepared daily.

* An Upmarket Cafe offering a barista preparing fresh brewed coffee, espressos, as well as iced and frozen options.

* A juice and smoothie bar featuring fresh fruits and vegetables. Customers also can enjoy eight flavors of self-serve frozen yogurt accompanied by a toppings bar.

* Hundreds of fresh food items, including produce and on-the-go meal options, such as wraps, sandwiches and salads made fresh daily.

* A best-in-class wine selection boasting more than 700 wines that will pair well with the store’s assortment of artisan and brie cheeses, as well as specialty meats, chocolates and more — a Beverage Wizard kiosk provides food and beverage pairing recommendations.

* A Coca-Cola Freestyle machine dispensing 130 varieties of Coca Cola fountain drinks.

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Fruit of the Loom tries on new ad agency

BY CSA STAFF

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Fruit of the Loom has chosen Crispin Porter + Bogusky to oversee and manage advertising for the Fruit of the Loom, Vanity Fair and Russell Athletic brands.

The leading international, vertically integrated basic apparel and athletic goods company’s brands include Fruit of the Loom, Vanity Fair, Russell Athletic and Spalding. It is an independent wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, which is chaired by Warren Buffett.

One of the world’s largest manufacturers and marketers of underwear, intimate apparel, casualwear, athletic apparel and equipment, Fruit of the Loom is looking to CP+B to build on the momentum started with the heritage brand’s new campaign launched during the 2012 Summer Olympics.

“We are thrilled to bring on board such a stellar ad agency as CP+B,” says Kelly Thompson, SVP, brand communications, Fruit of the Loom. “Their fresh perspective will infuse bold, creative thinking on the marketing of our brands that will strengthen consumer engagement."

"We are truly excited about the opportunity, and to help create some new momentum with the American consumer," says Steve Babcock, VP and executive creative director, CP+B.

With a list of clients which includes Kraft, Best Buy, Microsoft, Old Navy and Arby’s, CP+B, Boulder was one of four finalists in Fruit of the Loom’s search. It was named “Interactive Agency of the Year” three times at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, “Agency of the Decade” by Advertising Age and “Agency of the Year” 13 times in the trade press. It is the only agency to have won the Grand Prix at Cannes in every major category.

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Supervalu says deal not dead yet

BY CSA STAFF

The review of strategic alternatives remains ongoing at Supervalu despite reports about discussions breaking down with one prospective investor.

Supervalu on Friday morning took the unusual step of announcing that its, "previously announced review of strategic alternatives is proceeding," and that active discussions were ongoing with several parties. The company also noted that nothing may come of the discussions. "There can be no assurance that this process will result in any transaction or any change in the company’s overall structure or its business model."

The announcement followed media reports that discussions with the private equity investment firm Cerberus had stalled. If that is the case it would hardly be surprising considering the dealmaking process can unfold over many months if not years. It took well over a year for ConAgra Foods to come to terms with recent takeover target Ralcorp.

Even with that understanding, Morningstar issued a report cautioning investors to stay away from the stock.

"Supervalu’s fundamentals continue to deteriorate, and prospects for an operational turnaround are becoming more difficult as the competitive environment is still intensifying," according to Morningstar.

The firm noted that shares of the company moved higher in late October on speculation that a deal was imminent, but recent reports took the wind out of the sales of that view. Morningstar contends efforts to sell the company have attracted little interest and what interest the company has received is only for specific assets.

"The apparent choices that Supervalu’s board faces are an operational turnaround instead of an outright sale; selling off parts of the business themselves; or leaving the breakup task to Cerberus Capital," Morningstar said.

Supervalu’s prospects for an operational turnaround appear very difficult given the competitive climate the company faces with its Save-A-Lot format stores and a dwindling customer base for its wholesale segment that serves independent food retailers. Despite seemingly bleak prospects, Supervalu remains one of the nation’s largest food companies with annual sales of roughly $35 billion and a U.S. store network that consists of 1,099 traditional food stores, 1,341 Save-A-Lot stores and 1,950 independent stores served by the distribution business.

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