Clinton Acts to Curb Cigarette Sales
at drastic action is needed to stop young people from smoking cigarettes, President Clinton last week launched the first-ever federal plan to restrict the sale of a product at retail nationwide.
The four-pronged effort, unveiled at a White House news conference last Thursday, would ban self-serve cigarette displays and cigarette vending machines outright, requiring packs and cartons to be dispensed by retail clerks from behind a counter. The plan also would ban cigarette sponsorship of sporting events and brand-name advertising on unrelated consumer products such as shirts; prohibit billboard ads for cigarette near schools; and require the tobacco industry to create a $150 million education and advertising campaign to discourage children from smoking.
A coalition of five cigarette manufacturers and an advertising agency immediately filed suit in a federal court seeking to block the White House youth-smoking initiatives.
Pathmark Closes Drug Store Sale
WOODBRIDGE, N.J. -- Pathmark Stores here said it has completed the sale of 30 freestanding conventional drug stores to Rite Aid Corp., Camp Hill, Pa.
The purchase price was $63.6 million, including estimated inventories subject to adjustments based on physical inventories.
Pathmark said it expects after-tax net cash proceeds from the deal to be $47 million -- $25 million of which will be used to retire a portion of the company's existing term loans and $22 million to retire a portion of the debt of its parent company, PTK Holdings.
The 30 drug stores, located primarily in the New York metropolitan area, accounted for sales in 1994 of $145 million -- about 3.5% of Pathmark's $4.1-billion total. The chain also continues to own and operate six free-standing discount drug stores in Connecticut.
Ahold Division Suspends Ads
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands -- Supermarket chain Albert Heijn here, a division of Ahold, Zaandam, the Netherlands, has suspended a national media campaign to advertise French products in response to France's decision to resume nuclear testing.
The campaign, scheduled for next month, was to have promoted French wines, among other items. Albert Heijn officials did not say how long the suspension would last.
Observers said Ahold's units operate independently, and Albert Heijn's actions shouldn't have an impact on the parent company's U.S. operations.
France will detonate eight subterranean nuclear blasts in the South Pacific through next May.
Grand Union to Trade on NASDAQ
WAYNE, N.J. -- Grand Union Co. here said its common stock begins trading on the NASDAQ National Market today.
The 231-store company, which emerged from Chapter 11 on June 15, had traded in a limited capacity on the OTC Bulletin Board under the symbol "GDUN." It will now trade on the NASDAQ electronic system under the new symbol "GUCO."
Joseph J. McCaig, president and chief executive officer, said Grand Union's entry into the NASDAQ National Market means that prices and other information about the company's shares will now be available in more than 200,000 electronic terminals in brokers' offices throughout the world, as well as on wire services for newspapers, radio and television stations.
Waste Solution Workshop Set
ALBANY, N.Y. -- The New York State Food Merchants Association here has teamed with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation to produce a free workshop,"Supermarkets and Governments: Partners For Waste Solutions."
Attendees will hear case studies of waste management and related topics. They will then assemble in working groups to produce a resource manual to help retailers.
Executives from Hannaford Bros., Scarborough, Maine; Wegmans Food Markets, Rochester, N.Y.; and Wal-Mart, Bentonville, Ark., are potential speakers.
Sessions will be held Sept. 19 here in Albany, Sept. 22 in Harriman, N.Y. and Oct. 18 in Syracuse, N.Y. For more information, call Jim Honan at DEC's Bureau of Waste Reduction and Recycling at (518) 457-3966.