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January 11, 2012

The maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

NEW YORK — The maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

Irving, Texas-based Hostess Brands carried $860 million in debt and also faced high labor costs and rising prices for sugar and other ingredients that exceeded its annual sales of about $2.5 billion, according to published reports. Hostess previously filed for bankruptcy protection in 2004 and emerged in 2009.

January 11, 2012

On Tuesday, IBM released its final benchmark announcement for the 2011 holiday season, detailing a continued strong performance for mobile, as well as an overall increase in online spending for December 2011.

ARMONK, N.Y. — On Tuesday, IBM released its final benchmark announcement for the 2011 holiday season, detailing a continued strong performance for mobile, as well as an overall increase in online spending for December 2011.

According to the report, the U.S. online retail sector delivered 7.5% growth in December 2011, compared with the same period last year. This followed a strong November where both Black Friday 2011 and Cyber Monday 2011 delivered double-digit growth over 2010.

Other key findings of the IBM report included:

January 11, 2012

Just two years after launching its GoLean Crisp! line, Kashi announced that it has added a new cereal to the mix.

LA JOLLA, Calif. — Just two years after launching its GoLean Crisp! line, Kashi announced that it has added a new cereal to the mix.

New Kashi GoLean Crisp! cinnamon crumble cereal features light and crispy whole grain clusters with natural cinnamon and offers 10 g of protein, 20 g of whole grains in each serving, and is a good source of fiber, Kashi said.

Kashi GoLean Crisp! cinnamon crumble cereal now is available at grocers and natural food retailers nationwide for a suggested retail price of $3.99.

January 11, 2012

After announcing that it has set its sights on transforming into a digital company, Kodak has filed patent infringement suits against Apple and HTC in an effort to protect some of its patents relating to digital imaging technology.

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — After announcing that it has set its sights on transforming into a digital company, Kodak has filed patent infringement suits against Apple and HTC in an effort to protect some of its patents relating to digital imaging technology.

January 11, 2012

A new series of fitness DVDs that promotes long and lean muscle development has made its debut.

LOS ANGELES — A new series of fitness DVDs that promotes long and lean muscle development has made its debut.

Ballet Body Signature Series, developed by fitness expert Leah Sarago, is a three-part DVD series focuses on the lower body, upper body and core, while incorporating Sarago's elongation technique that combines dance, ballet, Pilates and yoga-inspired exercises. The technique challenges the body through isometrics, stretch-contract reflex and eccentric contractions to create the elongation in the muscles.

January 11, 2012

Nielsen is looking to boost its position as a leader in total store reporting and analytics by acquiring a provider of customized information for the fresh food business environment.

NEW YORK — Nielsen is looking to boost its position as a leader in total store reporting and analytics by acquiring a provider of customized information for the fresh food business environment.

January 11, 2012

The National Retail Federation announced that it has issued an open letter to President Obama, urging him to call for action on initiatives that support a strong retail sector when he delivers his State of the Union address later this month.

WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation announced that it has issued an open letter to President Obama, urging him to call for action on initiatives that support a strong retail sector when he delivers his State of the Union address later this month. The letter was signed by Macy’s chairman, president and CEO Terry Lundgren, who chairs the NRF board of directors, and NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay.

January 11, 2012

PZ Cussons, a consumer products group in Europe, Asia and Africa, is expanding its beauty division with the acquisition of the Fudge hair care brand from Australia-based Sabre Group.

LONDON — PZ Cussons, a consumer products group in Europe, Asia and Africa, is expanding its beauty division with the acquisition of the Fudge hair care brand from Australia-based Sabre Group.

The brand and associated inventory are being acquired by PZ Cussons for 25.5 million pounds ($39.5 million). The transaction is expected to close by the end of January, following the satisfaction of certain regulatory obligations.

January 11, 2012

Fresh & Easy is slated to close 12 underperforming stores.

NEW YORK — Fresh & Easy is slated to close 12 underperforming stores.

The U.S. division of Tesco left open the door to reopening the stores at a later date, according to Orange County Register.

"At this time, there is simply not enough growth in sales and customers at these stores to keep them open. We will close these stores over the coming weeks and we will re-open them when economic and business conditions warrant," said Fresh & Easy spokesman Brendan Wonnacott in the report.

January 11, 2012

The Retail Industry Leaders Association announced that Kirt Johnson will join the association as VP tax policy.

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Retail Industry Leaders Association announced that Kirt Johnson will join the association as VP tax policy.

An expert with nearly 30 years of experience navigating tax policy on Capitol Hill and in the private sector, Johnson will lead RILA’s tax agenda, including the pursuit of comprehensive tax reform. Johnson also will provide support to RILA’s aggressive campaign to level the playing field in terms of sales tax collection between Main Street retailers and their online competitors.

January 11, 2012

Hair care company Salon Grafix has announced the release of its new Healthy Hair Nutrition product line.

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Hair care company Salon Grafix has announced the release of its new Healthy Hair Nutrition product line.

Ordinary shampoos can contain harsh detergents, chemicals and lathering agents that strip color and contribute to dryness and hair damage. Healthy Hair Nutrition is designed to maintain hair health and color while removing dirt and product buildup, leaving natural shine. Two new products from this line will be hitting shelves in February 2012.

January 11, 2012

Supermarket operator Spartan Stores and gas station operator Speedway are expanding a fuel-discount program to all of Michigan, the companies said Wednesday.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Supermarket operator Spartan Stores and gas station operator Speedway are expanding a fuel-discount program to all of Michigan, the companies said Wednesday.

January 11, 2012

Supervalu said it is sticking to its "8 Plays to Win" strategy, a multipronged plan designed to benefit the company and its customers, despite reporting several losses during the third quarter.

MINNEAPOLIS — Supervalu said it is sticking to its "8 Plays to Win" strategy, a multipronged plan designed to benefit the company and its customers, despite reporting several losses during the third quarter.

The supermarket retailer reported its net sales during the third quarter of fiscal 2012 dropped about 5% to $8.3 billion, compared with nearly $8.7 billion in the year-ago period, and also posted a net loss of $750 million, or $3.54 per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $202 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2011.

January 11, 2012

One day before Walgreens hosted its 2012 annual shareholder meeting in Chicago on Wednesday afternoon, the chain showcased its latest flagship store to its hometown crowd. And even as Walgreens stares down its Express Scripts counterparts across the field, the head office made one thing perfectly clear to Chicago and its shareholders: Walgreens no longer is on a path to own well; it's on a path to dominate well.

CHICAGO — One day before Walgreens hosted its 2012 annual shareholder meeting here Wednesday afternoon, the chain showcased its latest flagship store to its hometown crowd. It was Jordanesque — Chicago knows what a championship team looks like, the Cubs notwithstanding — and even as Walgreens stares down its Express Scripts counterparts across the field, the head office made one thing perfectly clear to Chicago and its shareholders: Walgreens no longer is on a path to own well; it's on a path to dominate well.

January 10, 2012

Grocer A&P has announced plans to shutter 14 stores in four states as it prepares to emerge from bankruptcy.

MONTVALE, N.J. — Grocer A&P has announced plans to shutter 14 stores in four states as it prepares to emerge from bankruptcy.

The company has filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York seeking approval to close the stores. The store closures are expected to be completed in the company's fiscal first quarter, subject to court approval.

January 10, 2012

Case-Mate has brought its latest collection of mobile and tablet accessories for spring to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

LAS VEGAS — Case-Mate has brought its latest collection of mobile and tablet accessories for spring to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The new lineup includes such items as the Phantom, a triple-layered, two-piece iPhone 4/4S case, Brazil collection of animal print cases, a chic leather case from the Kayla collection and the Snap cover, which features a rapid-deploy, built-in kickstand.

The entire 2012 spring collection of mobile and tablet accessories range from $30 to $160.

January 10, 2012

A coalition of consumer groups on Tuesday joined its collective voice to the number of constituents opposing the Express Scripts-Medco merger in a letter to the Federal Trade Commission, according to a report filed by Reuters.

WASHINGTON — A coalition of consumer groups on Tuesday joined its collective voice to the number of constituents opposing the Express Scripts-Medco merger in a letter to the Federal Trade Commission, according to a report filed by Reuters.

January 10, 2012

CVS Caremark's chief healthcare strategy officer on Tuesday outlined how the company's integrated pharmacy-based program for such chronic diseases as diabetes, called Pharmacy Advisor, increased medication adherence rates and physician initiation of prescriptions for concomitant medications to improve patient health.

WASHINGTON — CVS Caremark's chief healthcare strategy officer on Tuesday outlined how the company's integrated pharmacy-based program for such chronic diseases as diabetes, called Pharmacy Advisor, increased medication adherence rates and physician initiation of prescriptions for concomitant medications to improve patient health.

January 10, 2012

Dr. LeWinn by Kinerase, a line created specifically for the mass market that launched in early 2011, is offering a Facebook sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip to New York Fashion Week.

NEW YORK — Dr. LeWinn by Kinerase, a line created specifically for the mass market that launched in early 2011, is offering a Facebook sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip to New York Fashion Week.

Beauty mavens are encouraged to visit the brand’s Facebook page and choose their favorite diffusion line fashion designer for a chance to win. The winner will attend a fashion show at Lincoln Center, receive a consultation with a celebrity stylist and receive a two-night stay at the Empire Hotel.

January 10, 2012

Relaxation beverage brand Drank is set to roll out a new tropical blend.

HOUSTON — Relaxation beverage brand Drank is set to roll out a new tropical blend.

The new Island Time relaxation beverage was created to help consumers stay calm and relax as the world may come to an end in 2012, Innovative Beverage Group Holdings CEO Peter Bianchi said.

"Consumers who want adventure and relaxation can still enjoy an active lifestyle while unwinding from their busy schedules. Island Time is a perfect new extension of the Drank family of products," Bianchi said.

January 10, 2012

The joint venture of Duracell and Powermat Technologies made its Consumer Electronics Show debut this week.

LAS VEGAS — The joint venture of Duracell and Powermat Technologies has announced its new product lineup.

January 10, 2012

Febreze is looking to eliminate tough odors and freshen the air in cars, the brand announced.

CINCINNATI — Febreze is looking to eliminate tough odors and freshen the air in cars, the brand announced.

The Febreze car vent clip features a modern design that allows it to easily attach onto the air vent in the car, providing odor elimination and freshness while on the road. It also includes a unique membrane that allows the product to slowly release scented oils, though consumers can adjust the scent level via the scent intensity dial.

January 10, 2012

Food Lion has appointed a new advertising agency of record.

SALISBURY, N.C. — Food Lion has appointed a new advertising agency of record.

The supermarket chain announced that Mullen will be responsible for developing Food Lion's advertising campaigns and partnering with the company on integrated marketing initiatives in support of the Food Lion brand. The terms of the contract were not disclosed. New creative and advertising could take effect as early as first quarter 2012.

January 10, 2012

Nicotine replacement therapies designed to help people stop smoking, specifically nicotine patches and nicotine gum, do not appear to be effective in helping smokers quit long-term, even when combined with smoking-cessation counseling, according to a new survey by researchers at Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Massachusetts Boston posted in an advance online edition of Tobacco Control Monday.

BOSTON — Nicotine replacement therapies designed to help people stop smoking, specifically nicotine patches and nicotine gum, do not appear to be effective in helping smokers quit long-term, even when combined with smoking-cessation counseling, according to a new survey by researchers at Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Massachusetts Boston posted in an advance online edition of Tobacco Control Monday.

January 10, 2012

Generic drug maker Hospira has enrolled the first patient in a late-stage clinical trial of a biosimilar drug for treating kidney disease.

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Generic drug maker Hospira has enrolled the first patient in a late-stage clinical trial of a biosimilar drug for treating kidney disease.

The company said the phase-3 trial of biosimilar EPO (erythropoietin) would compare its product with Amgen's Epogen in patients with kidney dysfunction who have anemia. The trial, which will enroll about 1,000 patients who already have taken Epogen, follows a phase-1 trial that ended last year, and results of the late-stage trial are expected next year.