Remember when retail transactions were completed based only on the assortment found within the confines of a brick-and-mortar store? Truth is, we may never return to those days.
I’ve heard arguments that as a result of retail choices, formats and virtual storefronts, consumers will no longer establish relationships with retailers. As a result, loyalty will be lost.
Honestly, I disagree. Multi-channel retailing not only has the potential to enhance the shopping experience, but also the ability to strengthen relationships with patrons.
How can that be? And if true, how can a retail operation begin to be “everywhere” shoppers expect them to be when they are ready to buy something?
Consider the advantages of an online storefront. First and foremost, the cost of operation — especially labor — is significantly less. Additionally, having virtual aisles allows for merchandise that would otherwise not fit within the constraint of four walls to be available for purchase at any time. Finally, the ability to guide consumer purchases, make recommendations and track prior sales has never been easier.
Another intrinsic value of e-commerce is flexibility. Because consumers have different reasons for shopping and different likes/dislikes about certain products, retailers can help their visitors establish profiles that allow them to navigate the online storefront in the direction they personally desire.
What about mobile applications? There is most definitely a place for mobile apps at retail. The key is to create an interface that immediately directs visitors to activities that will align with their purpose for visiting. Too many organizations make the mistake of replicating their traditional web page as a mobile application. Nothing could be more frustrating. For a retail pharmacy’s mobile app, perhaps there are only six key activities:
1) Refill a prescription
2) Check on the status of a prescription
3) Shop by symptom or need
4) Get a map to a nearby location
5) Speak to a pharmacist
6) View weekly specials
Keeping the mobile app clean, relevant and simple to navigate is essential. Anything that slows the visitor’s purpose will simply clutter the experience and fuel dissent.
So, have I convinced you that buyers are everywhere and they want access anytime and anyplace? I’d be curious to hear the steps you have taken to create a unified and ever-present front using all available connection points. I believe that embracing this ability to connect one-to-one has forever changed the face of retail.
Dave Wendland is VP and co-owner of Hamacher Resource Group, a retail healthcare consultancy located near Milwaukee, Wis. He directs business development, product innovation and marketing communications activities for the company and has been instrumental in positioning HRG among the industry’s foremost thought leaders. You may contact him at (414) 431-5301 or learn more at Hamacher.com.
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Purchase price revised in Shoppers Drug Mart, Paragon Pharmacies deal
KELOWNA, British Columbia — The purchase price of Paragon Pharmacies by Shoppers Drug Mart has been revised and now stands at about $73.5 million, according to a statement issued by Paragon Pharmacies.
“The agreement entered into in connection with the transaction contemplated potential purchase price adjustments arising out of Shoppers confirmatory due diligence, which included a review of Paragon’s store operating income. The maximum purchase price reduction under the due diligence adjustment provisions was $7 million. After Shoppers’ due diligence review and negotiations between the parties, an adjustment of $1.5 million to the purchase price was agreed upon,” Paragon stated.
The initial purchase price was about $75 million in cash.
The transaction is currently expected to close on Aug. 1. The agreement contemplates an outside closing date of Sept. 19, 2012.
As previously reported by Drug Store News, Canadian retailer Shoppers Drug Mart is looking to acquire 19 retail pharmacies and three central fill pharmacies located in British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba from Paragon.
The acquisition of the Paragon retail pharmacies, along with the central fill locations that service the long-term care market, will expand Shoppers’ retail presence in western Canada and will provide a platform for the company’s MediSystem Technologies business to enter the British Columbia and Manitoba markets.
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FDA gives tentative approval to generic hypertension drug
MORRISTOWN, N.J. — Actavis has received a preliminary approval for a generic drug for treating high blood pressure, the drug maker said Thursday.
The company said the FDA had given tentative approval to guanfacine extended-release tablets in the 1-mg, 2-mg, 3-mg and 4-mg strengths, a generic version of Shire’s Intuniv. Tentative approval means a generic drug meets the basic regulatory requirements for final FDA approval, but the FDA can’t approve it because the patents covering the branded version have not yet expired. Actavis said it was likely the first company to file an application for generic Intuniv with a paragraph IV certification, a legal assertion that one or more patents covering Intuniv are invalid, unenforceable or not in danger of being infringed.
Intuniv had sales of about $342 million during the 12-month period ended in March, according to IMS Health.
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