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Drug Store News Group site provides beauty advice

BY Antoinette Alexander

Mass-market retailers are looking for ways to bolster their beauty sales through technologically advanced product offerings, exclusive lines and new upscale beauty formats—and there’s no doubt that having an educated team of beauty advisers in the store is an important factor in achieving success. Enter the new BeautyAdvisorLounge.com site.

The new Web site, which officially launched April 17, was developed by The Drug Store News Group to serve as an educational platform and online community for beauty advisers working within the mass market.

“It used to be that cosmetic and fragrance salespeople visited with beauty advisers on a regular basis and that there were frequent beauty school days for beauty advisers to attend, and that doesn’t happen much anymore,” said John Kenlon, VP and group publisher of The Drug Store News Group. “The new BeautyAdvisorLounge.com is an effective, cost-efficient way to bring beauty advisers education that makes them better at their jobs and helps them sell more product. It’s also fun and makes them feel special, which is important when you’re selling beauty products.”

Highlights of the site include how-to lessons, instructional videos, new product information and category overviews. There’s also a “Let’s Chat” section to encourage interaction among beauty advisers.

To kick off the launch and to help educate beauty advisers, Coty, whose brands include Sally Hansen and NYC New York Color, and Reckitt Benckiser, the maker of Veet and Clearasil, have signed on as the initial sponsors of the site.

“We at Coty Beauty are very aware of the incredible value beauty advisers bring to the shopper, beauty categories, brands and the retailers that employ them. Our sponsorship of the innovation The Drug Store News Group is bringing to this invaluable team is entirely positive. Together, we will be providing ongoing training, best-practice sharing, category insights and a forum for learning among this community. We’re thrilled to be a partner in both the development and execution of this initiative,” said David Russell, VP sales, cosmetic strategy and customer marketing for Coty Beauty.

To help keep beauty advisers knowledgeable and up-to-speed on the latest and greatest in the fast-changing and exciting world of beauty, the site will be frequently updated with new product news and how-to lessons. In addition, BeautyAdvisorLounge.com will leverage the benefits of social media to further extend the reach to this invaluable group of retail associates.

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Retail clinics: Improved care at a lower cost

BY Michael Johnsen

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT Retail clinics. Save. Money. Without regard to who’s footing the bill exactly — healthcare payer or Jane Patient — retail clinics not only represent a significant cost savings across the board, but by siphoning nonemergency-yet-still-urgent cases out of the emergency rooms and doctors’ offices, retail clinics also can contribute to improved care across the healthcare continuum.

(THE NEWS: Study: Retail clinics save nonemergency patients money. For the full story, click here)

All told there were 119.2 million total ER visits in 2006, up 8.2% as compared with 2004, according to ACEP. Extrapolate that figure with WellPoint’s finding that 19.4% of those visits may be for nonemergencies across the entire nation, and the fuzzy math equates to an approximate 23.1 million non-emergency patients presenting across some 3,833 ERs. For whoever is paying for the cost of care, that’s an expenditure totaling $10.2 billion if every case were to present at an ER; as compared to $1.2 billion if every case were to present at a retail clinic. That’s the cost savings piece.

But cost savings aren’t the only benefit retail clinics afford the overall healthcare system —  there’s a general improvement in care. According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, average waiting times for patients triaged with non-emergency ailments at emergency departments range between one and two hours, but only when the ER isn’t crowded. That’s like saying that bee stings don’t hurt, you know, except when they do.

Let’s face it, in a nation of 309 million and counting, there are simply not enough points of care, be it for an emergency or nonemergency situation. Taking nonemergency visits out of emergency rooms would likely improve the efficiency of care for more critical patients, as well as the experience of care for noncritical patients. That’s the improved care piece.

Improved care at a lower cost, that’s what retail clinics bring to the table.

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Tide brings Loads of Hope to Dollar General

BY Allison Cerra

NASHVILLE Tide brought its mobile laundromat to a local Dollar General to benefit victims of the recent floods.

Tide’s Loads of Hope program visited a Nashville Dollar General May 12 to provide customers in the area with clean laundry. One truck and a fleet of vans house more than 32 energy-efficient washers and dryers that are capable of cleaning over 300 loads of laundry every day. Tide washs, dries and folds the clothes for these families for free.

The Loads of Hope program also benefited victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, in addition to other natural disasters.

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