Family Dollar shows its commitment to building its HBA business with new merchandising exec

Family Dollar Stores on Wednesday named Jason Reiser to the position of SVP merchandising, where he will have executive responsibility for the company’s health, beauty, personal care and household teams. Reiser comes to Family Dollar from Sam’s Club, where he spent more than 17 years in a variety of roles, most recently serving as VP merchandising, health and family care. 

Jason Reiser is one of the brightest young merchandising executives in this industry and has proven a knack for making health and wellness relevant and exciting to shoppers in alternative channels — Reiser was instrumental in developing and implementing Sam's Club's three-pillar strategy around awareness, prevention and solutions. Expect Reiser to bring some innovation in the way health and wellness is sold in a dollar store environment.

While mainstream health and wellness may be new to the dollar store channel, Reiser isn't new to making health and wellness succeed beyond the drug store and mass retail outlets. Sam's Club steadily established itself as a health-and-wellness destination through communication vehicles such as regular in-store health screenings and a focus on social media engagement, for example.

That's not to say what worked at Sam's Club will work at Family Dollar. But it is to say Family Dollar just picked up an executive experienced in building health and wellness in an atypical outlet known for limited assortments. The dollar channel may need a similar reputation overhaul as the channel is chock full of no-name brands and never prestige items, when it comes to health and beauty. While a treasure hunt mentality may work well with general merchandise, when consumers have a cold or headache, they're shopping with a purpose and destination in mind. 

Channel shopping behaviors aren't changed overnight, however, and it's the long play that Family Dollar is interested in when it comes to health and beauty. "We are pleased with the early returns from our investments to broaden our food, health, beauty and tobacco assortment," Mike Bloom, Family Dollar president and CEO told analysts last week, which was first initiated about a year ago. "As we anniversary these additions, our momentum will naturally slow. But I will tell you that I believe we are still in the early stages, and we have the opportunity to drive further customer awareness and sales," he said. 

Family Dollar chose well in selecting the executive tasked with driving that "customer awareness and sales" across HBA.

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