CHINA MOVE: The NPD Group will begin tracking sales of prestige fragrance, makeup and skin care products in Chinese department stores, according to the firm. Subscribers to the service will receive quarterly reports with monthly breakouts of sales volume and market share at the category, brand and product level, NPD stated. The firm initially will collect data from 32 stores in six Chinese cities, and NPD anticipates the program will grow to include more than 50 stores in 10 cities by next year. In conjunction with the move, NPD has opened an office in Beijing and has named Edward Wang manager of the beauty business in China, a role in which Wang will oversee sales, client development and operations.

BROWN-RISD COMBO: Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design are taking collegiate cobranding to new heights with a new dual degree program. The institutions said the partnership will allow students enrolled in the 2008-2009 academic year to participate in the five-year program working toward a bachelor of arts from Brown and a bachelor of fine arts from RISD. Students must first apply and be accepted by both schools. The dual degree will start with a first year of foundation studies at RISD. A minimum of two years in residence at each school will be required. RISD is known for its specialized education in such categories as visual art, architecture, design and liberal arts, whereas Brown is recognized for comprehensive majors. RISD president Roger Mandle said in a statement that the new program will merge "the strengths and educational rigor of each institution to form a true model of interdisciplinary education."

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