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CNBC’s Lemonis stresses connection with customers at Emerson Group event

BY Michael Johnsen

PHILADELPHIA  — The Emerson Group in late September hosted its 10th Annual Retail Industry Day to a packed room with hundreds of merchants eager to discover how to better proposition their products for tomorrow's ever-evolving consumer.

They weren't disappointed.

"It's a really dynamic time in our industry right now," said Emerson Group EVP marketing Matt Poli, who reflected on the decade the Emerson Group has been delivering provocative content as part of this event. "The world we live in, brick-and-mortar physical retail, over the last 10 years square footage in our industry has grown 23%. I know that runs counter [to what's been happening recently] but the small format has more than doubled their share of retail square footage and now represents 20% of the retail square footage in the United States. If you look at [these players], these are not retailers where we have widespread distribution."

Consumer shopping behavior has also evolved significantly in the past 10 years, he said. "It creates a lot of complexity. It's dynamic," Poli said. "We have to understand how the consumer is changing. The way we like to define it is 'Connection Capital.’ "The return on 'Connection Capital' is truly understanding how to build loyalty in today's digital environment at a profit."

Leading the all-star lineup of Emerson's 10th Annual Retail Industry Day was Marcus Lemonis, the retail "fixer" who hosts "The Profit” on CNBC, which features Lemonis' attempt each week to turn a failed business around by going back to the basics and making the front-line, customer-facing employees the heroes of each story.

"I don't believe that the key to business is actually our intelligence, at least the learned experience," Lemonis told attendees. "I don't believe that our success in business is based on some empirical data that we learned in business school. I really believe that the connection between people, and understanding how people think and how they're motivated, how to get them to react and how to get them to respond and how to manage with inspiration without intimidation is really the key."

And building a true connection with people means being vulnerable, Lemonis noted. "Business is not about spreadsheets. … It is about your ability to connect with people," Lemonis said. "[The Profit] is really not about business. It uses business as a backdrop, as a vehicle, to get the message across. The show is really about [people]."

That focus on people is the true differentiator for small business, he added. It's how successful entrepreneurs break through the clutter.

"I chose small business because small business for me looks like how I felt [starting out], a little bit of an underdog, limited resources, not the sharpest tack in the shed. That was me as a human," he said. "I've always wanted my legacy to be how do we get people to think differently about business and attach a personal perspective to it. How does that, over time, not level the playing field with 'big business,' but how does the small business owner get an edge?"

Lemonis will be returning to prime time in November when CNBC’s popular hit series “The Profit” returns for a fifth season.

Every day next week, Drug Store News will be featuring content connected to the Emerson Group's 10th Annual Retail Industry Day, starting with an overview of how to capture lightning in a bottle not once, but consistently with Wieden+Kennedy chief creative officer Colleen DeCourcy.

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ShopRite partners with Pantene for its Care Beyond Hair Tour

BY Michael Johnsen

KEASBEY, N.J. — ShopRite on Tuesday partnered with Pantene for its Care Beyond Hair Tour, exclusively at ShopRite, to donate hair and raise funds for Pantene Beautiful Lengths Fund, a program created in partnership with the American Cancer Society to provide free, real-hair wigs to women who have lost their hair due to cancer treatment.

“We are honored to partner with Pantene for the Care Beyond Hair Tour,” stated Cathy Magistrelli, VP health and beauty care at ShopRite. “ShopRite is committed to giving back and supporting key causes, and we understand the great physical and emotional toll cancer takes on women battling the disease. With support from our generous customers and great team of associates, we hope that we can make a difference through this campaign to create real-hair wigs for people fighting cancer.

From Oct. 3 – Nov. 16, the Care Beyond Hair Tour will make stops at close to 40 ShopRite stores throughout New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, offering a way for people to share their strength and donate their hair to the Beautiful Lengths Fund.

Each tour stop will feature a pop-up styling station staffed with an onsite beautician, allowing girls, women and men to donate their hair for the creation of real-hair wigs that will be distributed to women battling cancer, with the goal of 200 haircuts to create 25 wigs. For every hair donation, Pantene will pledge an additional $50 to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths Fund, up to $10,000.
 
Campaign ambassador Tiki Barber officially kicked off the Pantene Care Beyond Hair Tour at the ShopRite of Greater Morristown on Oct. 3, sharing his personal experiences in dealing with his mother’s breast cancer battle and encouraging donations to the campaign.
 
“We’re so thankful to ShopRite for its support of the Pantene Beautiful Lengths Fund through our partnership for Care Beyond Hair,” said Robert Stetts, marketing manager with P&G. “This program allows us to help women going through grueling cancer treatments to feel a little bit more like themselves every day and inspire the confidence needed to keep fighting. We are so grateful to our generous donors who continue to make the creation of these wigs possible, and we look forward to successful campaign for a great cause.”
 
 

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L’Oréal USA names new chief information officer

BY David Salazar

NEW YORK — L’Oréal USA has someone new leading its innovation efforts. The company has named Michael Kingston as chief information officer of L’Oréal USA. Kingston succeeds Barry Gilmore, who retired from the company at the end of September after 17 years.

“We believe that Michael’s diverse experience leading change and deploying strategic consumer solutions will be an important asset in driving innovation forward at L’Oréal,” L’Oréal USA president and CEO, and EVP of the America’s zone, Frédéric Rozé. “He is a progressive IT leader, and we are thrilled to add his talent to our management team.”

Kingston has previously served as CIO of Neiman Marcus Group, Coach, LVMH and Castrol, and he has 20 years of IT experience. He also brings to the company an extensive technical background in addition to his ability to empower organizations around enterprise transformations, L’Oréal said.

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