07/15/2013 - 1:55pm

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.

07/15/2013 - 1:37pm

Supermarket chain Wegmans took the time last week to issue a clarification following local news reports: It would not be ending healthcare benefits for its part-time employees. A story in the Buffalo News had a headline, "Wegmans cuts health benefits for part-time workers," that had been misconstrued.

It's no secret why Wegmans — which operates 81 stores in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts — is included in Fortune magazine's list of the "100 Best Companies to Work For."

07/15/2013 - 12:58pm

Loblaw Cos. and Shoppers Drug Mart signed a definitive agreement under which Loblaw will acquire Shoppers Drug Mart. The move follows the acquisition of Safeway Canada by Sobey's last month and a growing incursion of U.S. retail north of the border, including both Target Canada and Walmart Canada.

When Loblaw announced last week it would debut a new health-focused format to take on Whole Foods, no one could have expected it would make a deal to become the No. 1 pharmacy retailer in Canada, leapfrogging from No. 8 to that top spot with the stroke of a pen. Together the companies will operate 1,797 pharmacies across a total of 2,348 locations, meaning 1-in-5 Canadian pharmacies now will be operated by the merged company. Shoppers Drug Mart represents $4.9 billion in annual pharmacy sales, representing 47.3% of sales and $3.9 million in pharmacy sales on a per store basis. And if Loblaw's pharmacy sales are brought up to that level, the merged companies will represent $6.8 billion in pharmacy revenue.

07/01/2013 - 1:29pm

In a new article in Men's Health magazine, pharmacists are listed among a number of other health and wellness professionals dubbed "health detectives," and seeing them about certain health problems is described as an alternative to seeing the doctor.

To regular readers of DSN, the idea of pharmacists as the face of neighborhood health care or physician extender is old news. But it's still a relatively new concept to the public at large, and that's why the Men's Health article is such a big deal and why it got a response from National Association of Chain Drug Stores' president and CEO Steven Anderson.

07/01/2013 - 1:12pm

Though Walgreens reported an earnings gain of 85 cents per share, that fell short of Wall Street expectations of 91 cents per share. Subsequently, Walgreens' stock dropped from $48.05 before the earnings release to $44.17 at week's end.

But that's a story for day traders. Outside of the numbers, Walgreens outlined a three-point plan to boost front-end performance going forward. Meanwhile, several industry trends across pharmacy is helping to drive business higher behind the bench. So what happens if Walgreens not only continues its earnings growth trajectory, but actually beat Wall Street expectations next time?

07/01/2013 - 12:12pm

CVS Caremark has released the “2013 State of States: Adherence Report,” which reviews how patients in all 50 states are, or are not, taking their medications as directed by their doctors.

This is important as medication nonadherence continues to be a significant issue within the U.S. healthcare system. To be more specific, medication nonadherence in the U.S. accounts for up to $290 billion in excess healthcare costs annually. Yes, billion.

06/24/2013 - 11:14am

Rite Aid reported its third consecutive profitable quarter Thursday, with profits of nearly $90 million, following the introduction of the largest expansion of its Wellness+ loyalty card program, dubbed Wellness65+, and days before the promotion of COO Ken Martindale to president of the company.

The 4,615-store drug chain has been on a roll lately, continuing to benefit from the switch from branded to generic drugs and the retention of last year's dispute between Walgreens and Express Scripts.

06/24/2013 - 11:11am

A recent KPMG survey found that almost half (40%) of retailers will be looking to invest in technology to help grow their respective businesses. And engaging the customer through social media and loyalty apps may become significant, as 37% of retailers expect customer retention is the key to growth while 35% suggested adding to their customer bases is key.

It further illustrates the fact that marketers need to take an omnichannel approach to engage today's consumers.

That significance within social media and loyalty apps is simple, really. Marketers can't expect to generate a trip if they're not effectively reaching the consumer with their marketing messages. After all that's the underlying premise of omnichannel retailing — reaching the consumer with a shopping solution wherever, whenever and however she wants that solution, and then personalizing that solution with the help of big data analytics.

06/24/2013 - 10:41am

A new study by IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics found that the most wasteful healthcare spending stems from poor adherence to medications and that more responsible use of medications could save the U.S. healthcare system more than $200 billion a year.

The study is notable as it further illustrates the importance of medication adherence and, perhaps more significantly, touts the role that pharmacists can play in helping their patients live healthier lives.