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Bartell Drugs adds 3 board members

BY David Salazar

SEATTLE — Bartell Drugs has announced three the addition of three new members to its board of directors. The new additions — Kathy Gersch, Marck Schwartz and Kristi Marchbanks — have experience with online and brick-and-mortar retail, as well as work on other companies’ boards.

Gersch, former VP, chief marketing officer and GM of drugstore.com, has experience in leading the transformation of companies around the world in such sectors as healthcare, CPG, retail, energy and aerospace through her company Kotter International. She also has experience as an independent consultant and has previously served as VP finance, strategic planning and administration for Nordstrom Product Group and VP at Façconable International.

Schwartz possesses more than 20 years of c-suite experience and has been a board member of such companies as Starbucks. He advises the CEOs of 18 portfolio companies in the food, technology, healthcare and manufacturing spaces as an investor. He is the co-founder of grocery retailer Bodega Latina (El Super).

Marchbanks has worked in both the start-up and Fortune 500 business spaces, and has experience as a board member and corporate strategy executive. In her career, she has started new companies, launched products and scaled businesses by accelerating revenue growth, and was among the first to commercialize big data, cloud computing and software-as-a-service.

“We are delighted to add these three very talented outside directors to our Board,” vice chairman and treasurer Jean Bartell Barber said. “I anticipate that they will provide significant strategic guidance to our company.”

Alongside Bartell Barber, George Bartell, who is continuing in his role as chairman, is representing the Bartell family. Non-family board members are Shelley Milano, currently general counsel at retailer L Brands; Bill Brakken, former CFO of Lanoga Corporation; and Frank Segrave, formerly SVP at Cardinal Health, VP Pharmacy at Walmart, and currently founder and CEO of Silvergate Pharmaceuticals.

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Comparable Q1 pharmacy sales up 10.1% for Jean Coutu

BY Michael Johnsen

VARENNES, Quebec — The Jean Coutu Group on Tuesday reported $580.6 million in revenues for the first quarter ended June 3, representing an increase of 3.7% that was attriubuted to overall market growth by the Canadian retailer.

"During the first quarter, we continued to implement our buiness plan efficiently, which resulted in a significant increase in retail sales despite an ongoing competitive environment," stated Francois Coutu, president and CEO Jean Coutu. "The development of dynamic initiatives will continue to be our priority over the next few quarters in order to contribute to the increase of retail sales and thus continue our growth and maintain our leadership."

On a same-store basis, the PJC network realized a 6.8% lift in retail sales, representing growth of 10.1% in comparable sales across its pharmacy operations and a 1.4% lift in same-store front-end sales. Sales of nonprescription drugs, which represented 8.5% of total retail sales, increased by 2.2%.

Generic drugs reached 71.6% of prescriptions during the first quarter, compared to 70.7% for the comparable period last year. The increase in the number of generic drugs had a deflationary impact on the pharmacy's retail sales, Jean Coutu reported. For the first quarter, new generic drugs reduced pharmacy's retail sales by 0.6%, and price reductions of generic drugs reduced retail sales growth by an additional 0.5%.
 

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Online grocer adds ‘Ask Peapod’ as Amazon’s latest Alexa skill

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — Online grocer Peapod on Tuesday launched "Ask Peapod," its Alexa skill for hands-free, voice ordering that enables immediate, in-the-moment additions to shoppers' weekly grocery carts. Peapod sees voice ordering as the natural next step and is investing in more innovations designed for the connected shopper.

"The beauty of online grocery shopping is that you can add to your order throughout the week and at the very moment you remember that you need something," stated Cat de Merode, VP Product Peapod. "In fact, we know that our customers often visit Peapod multiple times throughout the week while completing their orders. Now, as soon as a shopper thinks of an item, they have the option of adding it their cart via Alexa, their desktop or our award-winning mobile app for the ultimate convenience."

In addition to adding and removing items in the cart, Alexa can reorder a customer's last order and alert a customer to their delivery date.

"At Peapod, we love new technologies, particularly when they fit so naturally into household planning. Knowing that 51% of Amazon Echo users have their devices in the kitchen, launching 'Ask Peapod' on Alexa was a natural innovation for Peapod as we continue to create real meal solutions that fit into normal at-home behaviors," de Merode said. "We're excited to add more features for our shopping chefs too, so keep an ear out for those updates."

 

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