Insights

Image description

Walmart taps proven operators to boost its health-and-wellness presence

Just two months after Labeed Diab was named head of health and wellness at Walmart, Mark Phillips was elevated to the role of VP pharmaceutical merchandising. Phillips assumes command of more than 4,175 retail pharmacy operations that generates $16.8 billion in pharmacy revenue, according to DSN's PoweRx 50. In his new role, Phillips will lead the pharmaceutical merchandising team and report to Diab. Phillips, who most recently served as the senior director of merchandising in small formats, is a long-time buyer for Walmart and may be an indication of Walmart's steadfast commitment to growing pharmacy, health and wellness, especially across Walmart's smaller formats.

Image description

Rite Aid fielding four aces with its latest health and wellness hand

There has been a lot of good news generating out of Rite Aid headquarters in Camp Hill, Pa., in the past week. Not the least of which was the 2.7% lift in first-quarter sales and the 3.1% gain in same-store sales for the period. Rite Aid delivered its seventh consecutive quarter of profitability, noted John Standley, Rite Aid chairman and CEO, during a conference call with analysts last week. And Motley Fool’s consumer goods analyst Sean O’Reilly raved about Rite Aid's Health Alliance program, what he described as the company's "ace up its sleeve." O'Reilly noted that the Health Alliance program is designed to drive traffic into Rite Aid's stores through doctor recommendations in the markets where Health Alliance is active. But there's a deeper dive here, because Rite Aid is driving the right customers into its stores — customers with poly-chronic or chronic conditions that represent more frequent trips and bigger market baskets. What's more, Rite Aid's Health Alliance program aims to make those acquired patients more sticky by coordinating a comprehensive care program that will help those patients reach their health goals.

Image description

Sam's Club new credit card offering will boost membership value

Sam’s Club recently announced a credit card cash back program that gives members the opportunity to earn up to $5,000 annually. Marking one of the biggest changes in membership in more than a decade, the club operator in one fell swoop boosted its appeal to loyal Sam's Club members and close the gap between Sam's Club and its chief rival, Costco. The news comes off of a first-quarter performance that Sam's Club president and CEO Rosalind Brewer characterized as “one of our more difficult quarters.” While the club operator was negatively impacted by weather and a reduction in public assistance, Costco emerged under the same conditions with a positive same-store sales comp figure.

NRF: April sales figures 'weaker than anticipated'

Retail sales rose ever so slightly in April, putting a damper on hopes of a sharp uptick in economic growth in the second quarter. According to the U.S. Commerce Department, retail sales — which include categories such as automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants — rose 0.1% in April, following a revised 1.5% increase in March that ranked as the biggest since March 2010.

Easter, warmer weather boost spending in April

Consumer year-over-year spending growth of 4.1% gained momentum in April 2014 compared with the prior month’s growth of 3.1%, driven by warmer weather, as well as the Easter shift into April this year, according to First Data SpendTrend analysis.

Q&A: The importance of responsible medication storage

DSN had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Doug Hebert, Co-Founder and Vice President of RxArmory, and Shelly Mowrey, Vice President of RxArmory about the importance of substance abuse prevention.

Bayer/Merck combined portfolio represents leading position across significant OTC categories

Bayer agreed to acquire the consumer care business of U.S. pharmaceutical company Merck for a purchase price of $14.2 billion. The OTC acquisition will give Bayer the global No. 2 position in nonprescription products following recently announced consolidations in this growing healthcare industry segment, and will significantly enhance Bayer’s business across multiple therapeutic categories and geographies. Merck's consumer care business includes such leading brands as Claritin, Coppertone and Dr. Scholl’s. Pro forma sales of the combined businesses in 2013 amounted to $7.4 billion with Merck’s business contributing approximately $2.2 billion. Upon completion of the acquisition, Bayer is expected to achieve global leadership positions in dermatology and gastrointestinals and advance to the No. 2 position in the cold, allergy, sinus and flu category. Bayer will remain No. 2 in nutritionals and No. 3 in analgesics. Overall, the proposed GlaxoSmithKline-Novartis combination represents the largest consumer health business with about 5.7% share, according to reports. The Bayer/Merck combination comes in second with around 4.5% share. McNeil Consumer rounds out the top three globally with a share just above 4%.

NACDS continues its heritage of naming 'A-List' chairmen with appointment of Rite Aid's John Standley

"NACDS helps to protect the value we currently deliver and sets the stage to provide an even higher level of care, all while sending a powerful message that chain pharmacies are doing far more than filling prescriptions and selling merchandise." That's the message incoming National Association of Chain Drug Stores John Standley had for NACDS Annual attendees. It's a critical juncture in the healthcare industry, he said, and everyone who participates in NACDS plays a substantial role. NACDS is getting a seasoned performer at the helm. Standley has shown exemplary leadership and remarkable clarity of vision in leading the turnaround at Rite Aid — today the retail health care company is in the best shape it has been in financially in more than a decade, and introduced several very innovative new programs and initiatives from the wellness ambassadors to wellness+ to the Rite Aid Health Aliance, and most recently its acquisition of RediClinic.