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Ethnic shoppers, mobile technology to redefine retail

BY DSN STAFF

Burgeoning target demographics, such as Hispanics, Asians and baby boomers, along with an increased utility of smartphone technology as a shopping tool, will help to redefine retail altogether, suggested Thom Blischok, chief retail strategist and senior executive adviser for Booz & Co. during the keynote address and closing session for FMI’s part in the Health & Wellness @Retail 2013 conference on Saturday.

As many as 47% of U.S. shoppers will be of ethnic background, Blischok noted. Between 2010 and 2025, the Hispanic population is expected to climb by 41%, and the Asian population by 37%. And the 65-years-and-older population, who hold about $11 trillion in wealth, will become a market force even sooner — in the next five years — Blischok added. That represents an especially candied sweet spot for health-and-wellness marketers as anyone older than 55 years manages an average of 2.5 chronic conditions.

The merchandising and marketing of health-and-wellness products and services through technologically advanced retail tools will prove a significant point of entrée to serving each of those demographic needs. “This mobile technology play is beyond important as a strategic differentiator,” Blischok said.

To succeed, suppliers and retailers will need to define their health-and-wellness initiatives across four dimensions — recognizing needs, supplying relevant education, fortifying the shopping experience and delivering solutions. “Where retail is going to win is through merchandising and marketing and through technology,” he said. Products could become very much commoditized across online outlets, but the experience at retail cannot be replicated on the Web.

Retailers who have figured out how to best create a seamless experience between brick, click and any combination of the two include sports merchandiser Cabela’s and Lowe’s, Blischok observed. And it’s precisely because no matter how the shopper wants to shop them, they have an easily accessed shopping solution.

“The next generation of stores is something called ‘responsive stores,’” Blischok said. Just shy of half of all offerings at retail will be service-oriented in the near future, he suggested. “It’s no longer about the [physical] store,” he said. Stores will still be part of the shopping equation, but it’s the shopping experience that will be the driving force behind winning retailers.

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Hot products at Health & Wellness @Retail 2013

BY Michael Johnsen

GMDC and FMI are co-hosting the Health & Wellness @Retail 2013 conference in San Antonio from May 31 to June 3. Below are some of our editors’ picks of the hot products at the show.

Alive! multivitamins
Nature’s Way featured several new 50+ formulations of its popular Alive! line of multivitamins. Each formulation is made with 26 fruits and vegetables, and provides support for healthy bones, colon, eyes, energy, heart and immunity. The Women’s 50+ formula delivers extra support for breast health, physical and mental energy, and urinary health, while the Men’s 50+ formula delivers extra support for cardiovascular health, physical and mental energy, and prostate health. And the Ultra Potency formulas also provide green foods, digestive enzymes, citrus bioflavonoids, organic mushrooms and herbs.

Goody’s Headache Relief Shot
Prestige Brands also featured the launch of its Goody’s Headache Relief Shot at GMDC’s product showcase, marking the first time a pain reliever will be available in the popular shot format. “It has a fast liquid action, has long-lasting relief, it’s convenient to use and is in a great-tasting berry and citrus form,” Connors said. “This brand is going to be the beneficiary of a significant portion of our marketing dollars this coming year.” With NASCAR heating up in the points season in the fall, Prestige will rename its sponsored October race on the Martinsville track to the “Goody’s 500 Headache Shot Relief.”

PediaCare Fever Reducer & Pain Reliever
To help relieve moms’ concerns about accurate dosing, Prestige Brands is launching PediaCare Squeezable Packets, a single-dose acetaminophen pain reliever and fever reducer formulated for kids. PediaCare Squeezable makes it easier and more accurate for mom to dose her child with a cherry-flavored medicine. According to the company, the new product is ideal for children who have outgrown the dosing syringe but are not yet comfortable using dosing cups. “Most importantly, it’s going to give Mom the peace of mind that she’s providing her children with the right product,” said Timothy Connors, Prestige EVP sales and marketing, in announcing the launch. “So we are really excited about this launch.”

Thermal-AID Zoo
Pacific Shore Holdings had its new lineup of Thermal-Aid Zoo products —heating/cooling plush animals specifically designed for kids to help reduce swelling and ease pain. The products are made out of natural cotton and are filled with a heating/cooling element composed of specially engineered corn. Through a patented process, the embryo/germ tip cap and outer coat is removed from each kernel of corn, creating a de-germinated corn that can hold temperatures for extended periods of time. Thermal-Aid Zoo is available in seven characters, including Baxter Bunny, Happy Hippo, Tiny Elephant, Ollie Koala, Buckley Bear, Jo Jo Monkey and Bella Bear.

L’il Helper baby bottle holder
Li’l Helper showcased its Baby Bottle Holder as part of the GMDC showcase Saturday. It’s a bottle holder designed to free up Mom’s hands while building baby’s natural grip reflex. The ergonomic design matches baby’s natural nursing posture, the company noted. In addition to supporting a feeding bottle, the product can serve additional purposes, such as a toy, rattle or teething device. Available in four colors — green, blue, pink and gray — the product retails for a suggested $14.99. The product is BPA-free and holds most bottle sizes. Bilingual packaging also is available, the manufacturer noted.

Brush Buddies
Have a song stuck in your … mouth? Yep, Brush Buddies aims to make oral care a fun, musical experience with its line of singing toothbrushes.

The singing toothbrushes feature some of today’s biggest musicians performing their biggest hits. The line includes Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, One Direction (worldwide, excluding North America), LMFAO and Psy. Each brush is uniquely styled for each artist, plays two songs — one for morning brushing, one for night — and plays each song for a full two minutes, the dentist-recommended length of time to brush.

Brush Buddies also has teamed up with The Smurfs to develop talking toothbrushes that reflect such characters as Smurfette and Papa Smurf.

Hello oral care line
Say “hello” to a new personal care brand that is looking to turn the oral care segment upside down with fun, exotic flavors and innovative packaging.

Hello is a new oral care line of toothpaste, mouthwash and breath sprays that are 99% natural and free of harsh chemicals and artificial colors. BMW Group DesignworksUSA — the design arm of the BMW Group — created the packaging. All packaging on the mouthwashes, sprays and toothpastes are 100% custom, proprietary designs from the pour-and-swig rings on the mouthwashes to the “pastry bag tip” on the toothpaste. What also sets Hello apart is its flavors — Supermint, Pink Grapefruit Mint, Mojito Mint and Sweet Cinnamint.

J.R. Watkins Naturals Apothecary
Watkins, Inc., which years ago sold its products only through catalog, online and direct selling, is making some waves at the Health & Wellness @Retail 2013 event with its J.R. Watkins Naturals Apothecary line for retail.

The J.R. Watkins Naturals Apothecary line of personal care products includes medicated lip balm, hand and cuticle salve, body scrub, body butter, body oil mist, hand soap, body lotion and deep muscle warming balm.

Nestled in Winona, Minn., Watkins has been America’s pioneer in natural living since 1868. Positioned as America’s original natural apothecary manufacturer, Watkins states that it uses only the finest natural ingredients in its diverse lines of personal care, home care, remedies, extracts and spices.

Nail Candy pen
Nail color continues to be the rock star of beauty, and Nail Candy is looking to enjoy some of the limelight with its multifunctional nail art/polish pen. The Nail Candy pen features two nail polish colors, two brushes and two tips.

The dual-color pens are unique in that the brush provides the functionality of nail polish and the micro-tip provides the capability of airbrushed-style artwork. By gently squeezing the bottle while either drawing or dragging the pen, beauty mavens can create any type of design they desire.

According to the most recent data provided by IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm (@iriworldwide), sales of nail polish rose more than 19% to $883.7 million for the 52 weeks ended April 21 at U.S. multi-outlets.

Monster’s University
Watch out! Mike Wazowski, James P. Sullivan and Art are leaping off the big screen and into your bathroom with MZ Berger’s Monster University 3-in-1 body wash, shampoo and conditioner.

Leveraging the popularity of Disney-Pixar’s Monsters University, set to hit theaters June 21, manufacturer MZ Berger developed the multiuse formula. The unique packaging is hard to miss as the bottles bare the likeness of the popular characters, allowing children to bring home Mike Wazowski, James P. Sullivan or Art.

“Monsters University” is directed by Dan Scanlon (“Cars,” Mater and the Ghostlight,” and “Tracy”), produced by Kori Rae (“Up,” “The Incredibles,” “Monsters, Inc.”) and features music from composer Randy Newman (“Monsters, Inc.,” “Toy Story 3”).

 

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GMDC365 bridges retail buyers and suppliers

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN ANTONIO — GMDC and The Retail Gateway on Sunday will showcase the latest virtual connectivity innovation — GMDC365 — that will help bridge the gap between retail buyers and suppliers at the GMDC/FMI Health & Wellness @Retail 2013 conference.

The GMDC365 website helps vendors and buyers connect within their specific categories and retail channels.

“The goal of the website was to create a B2B-style site where you can streamline communication and information,” Trey Holder, Retail Gateway president, told DSN in a preview of the new offering. The websites will be able to stream videos, host press releases and even host social media feeds. “It’s a real [efficient] way to keep your sales network up-to-date and also connect with your retail base.”

The supplier page also hosts an overview of the company and contact information, Holder said. “If a retailer looks at a product and wants to see who the manufacturer is, it would take them to that manufacturer’s page,” Holder said. “And they can follow [that supplier] through YouTube, Facebook and Twitter right off of that [landing page].”

The site is actually live now, Holder said, and features upward of 800 products.

The supplier page also features a catalog of all products. “It acts as a cataloguing system,” Holder noted. Each product image can take the retailer to a specific product page featuring how-to videos, detailed product descriptions and merchandising vehicle pictures.

Vendors hosting a page on the website are better able to reach their specific category buyers by toggling which categories their products fall into. Also, vendors can restrict certain channels of retail from accessing their sites.

And suppliers can forward the link to their pages to prospective retail buyers to help promote their products.

The site also restricts access to retailers so that sensitive trade information can be protected, though a suppliers’ sales network can access the site for real-time updates.

While GMDC members enjoy a discount on the program, membership is not mandatory, Holder said. However, all applying to participate, either as a vendor or a retailer, are vetted before gaining access to the site, he said.

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