Suppliers abuzz at Annual

PALM BEACH, Fla. —The atmosphere this year at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ Annual Meeting was sunny, even as the Monday morning of the event gave way to a seasonal Florida downpour that forced everyone indoors. That morning, the lobby and restaurants of The Breakers seemed to be elbow-room-only as suppliers and retailers took the weather in stride and continued hammering out strategic initiatives. Because recession or boom, healthcare reform or no healthcare reform, the business of pharmacy retailing remains the same: How can you drive more patients/customers through the doors today as compared with yesterday?

And as far as incremental dollar-driving initiatives were concerned, there were plenty being tossed about this year, whether you were sitting at one of the cabanas or inside for impromptu table-top meetings.

For example, Sally Hansen, owned by Coty, is looking to make salon-quality manicures even easier at home with the launch of its Complete Salon Manicure collection. As Mary van Praag, SVP sales for Coty Beauty, recently told Drug Store News, that kind of innovation, buttressed by strong promotional support, has helped Sally Hansen realize all-time highs in share of market, and has helped make the Sally Hansen Complete Salon offering the No. 1 beauty care new product year-to-date through February.

GlaxoSmithKline publicly announced on the Tuesday, April 27, of NACDS Annual the launch of its new Nicorette Mini Lozenge, a smaller smoking-cessation lozenge that dissolves three times faster than the stop-smoking lozenges currently on the market. And that new mini-lozenge is expected to drive incremental growth to the category because the smaller lozenge size actually satisfies different usage scenarios, Roger Scarlett-Smith, president of GSK Consumer Healthcare, shared with retail partners at the event. The new Mini Lozenge also will be promoted in part through Drew Pinsky, the popular addiction expert featured on VH1’s “Celebrity Rehab.”

Procter & Gamble showcased its Pantene makeover at its annual P&G Studio & Male Zone, where NACDS Annual attendees were able to slip in at some point during the conference for the latest in beauty and grooming services. At the shelf, however, P&G is shaking up its entire Pantene line with new packaging and a new merchandising philosophy—merchandising all relative products together by four defined hair styles in an attempt to make the set less cluttered and easier to shop. And according to one industry executive in the services arena, P&G has done just that and should really connect with their buyers on this initiative.

Other buzz-worthy items of note included Dr Pepper Snapple Group’s new West Coast production facility. With a capacity to produce 40 million cases each year, which will augment the company’s service to the Southwest. Pacific World inked a licensing deal with Crayola for a new Crayola by Fing’rs collection that is now available at Walmart, a line that ought to appeal to tweens and potentially could serve as a gateway into the category. And Lornamead is hoping to fold in an incremental Lice Shield conditioner-shampoo combo onto the shelves for parents treating lice. The new lice care products are formulated to be preventative.

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