Shoppers Drug Mart takes a page out of CCR playbook

TORONTO Shoppers Drug Mart is looking to expand its overall category selection in an effort to make more of a direct appeal to all Canadian shoppers with an expansion into more traditional food and mass merchant fare, suggested a report published in Canada’s The Globe and Mail Tuesday.

Shoppers CEO Jurgen Schreiber told analysts at a CIBC World Markets retail conference that Shoppers will be expanding its position in several burgeoning categories such as ethnic, health foods and even electronics, and to make room for those expanded sets Shoppers would jettison less productive merchandise.

That sounds very much similar to Walgreens’ CCR initiative, in which the Deerfield, Ill.-based druggist tossed a deep assortment of auto care in favor of higher-turning health and beauty categories. In the case of Shoppers, that means cutting away a slower-moving photo category in favor of a more hip electronics offering, Schreiber told analysts according to the news report.

The fact that Shoppers is now featuring a Canadian version of CCR shouldn’t come as a surprise, however, especially as the executive who stewarded that initiative early on at Walgreens — Chong Bang — joined Shoppers as its chief merchant in December.

“Some believe that Bang’s CCR experience could help Shoppers Drug Mart as the Canadian retailer works to maximize front-end performance,” read a Feb. 16 Drug Store News special report retail pharmacy merchants. “Along with improved adjacencies, expect Bang to identify coreccategories in Shoppers’ front end that currently may be undersized for a Canadian retailer flush with prestige beauty products … Bang’s challenge may be to exploit and grow othe categories without losing any of that market share.”

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