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Family Dollar rejects takeover bid, boosts private-label efforts

BY Allison Cerra

MATTHEWS, N.C. — Family Dollar on Thursday said "no thanks" to an active investor’s takeover bid.

The discount retailer said the buyout offer of $55 to $60 per share, made by Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund, "undervalued" the company. Family Dollar did, however, strike a deal with Marketing Management to help boost its private-label efforts.

Through this strategic alliance, MMI will help Family Dollar with such private-label issues as sourcing, product development, category analytics, assortment strategy, quality assurance and customer insights.

“Enhancing our private-brand assortment to drive margin improvement and customer loyalty is a key strategic initiative for Family Dollar,” said Don Hamblen, Family Dollar’s SVP customer marketing. “A compelling assortment of private-brand merchandise gives our value-conscious customer more choices at lower prices without lower standards. Our alignment with MMI will help ensure our assortment is focused on quality and value across all our consumables departments.”

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Tomorrow’s healthcare retailing game gets new name

BY Michael Johnsen

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — The name of the game for tomorrow’s successful healthcare retailer is ubiquity — because it’s no longer good enough to have the better corner location or the splashiest of websites; tomorrow’s healthcare retailer will need to be able to interact with its patient whenever, however and wherever that patient happens to be at the time.

(THE NEWS: Max-Wellness, Humana partner on new in-home healthcare solutions service. For the full story, click here)

And with each of these new venues, Max-Wellness establishes a new portal of contact with its patients. In many of these venues, Max-Wellness also will generate disproportionate share of mind, because it will be the only retail health player in town. Humana Homecare Solutions brings the Max-Wellness brand to some 123,000 Humana members and with an offering that’s only going to become relevant as baby boomer’s age.

“Close to 40% of the Medicare population needs some help in order to stay at home,” stated Sandy Markwood, CEO of National Association of the Area Agencies on Aging, in response to the Humana/Max-Wellness announcement. “And as 77 million baby boomers reach retirement age over the next 20 years, the need and demand for quality support programs like Humana HomeCare Solutions will continue to rise as well.”

Mini-Max will expand that Max-Wellness brand into the hospital setting where the nearest competitor of any kind is the branded “hospital gift shop.” Where Humana reaches a large constituent of consumers in short order, Mini-Max is more of a longer play. That venue helps establish Max-Wellness both as a go-to for recovery/rehab products and a healthcare depository of information where discharged patients can learn about how not to make a return trip to that hospital.

Wellness-in-a-Box helps further expand that Max-Wellness brand with the establishment of a storefront in nontraditional settings. Rather than just afford a brief Max-Wellness experience through that vending-machine window, however, the Wellness-in-a-Box concept serves as an entry point to access all of the company’s product selections with a new and robust e-commerce engine.

“We are not only retailers, we also are building a national brand to better serve a broader audience of customers, enabling them to shop where, when and how they choose for products and services to enhance their lives, help them prevent illness and treat health issues,” noted Max-Wellness founder Michael Feuer.

Where, when and how. Ubiquity. That’s the future of healthcare retailing.

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L’Oréal boutique goes above and ‘beyond’

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Nestled within Bed Bath & Beyond’s Upper East Side location in New York City is the first-ever L’Oréal Paris “boutique.” The boutique carves out an oasis for beauty — a somewhat logical extension from the “bath” in “Bed Bath & Beyond.” The boutique features L’Oréal Paris skin care, hair care, cosmetics and hair color products.

Bed Bath & Beyond’s Upper East Side store, located at 61st Street and First Avenue just a few blocks away from Bloomingdale’s, is an ideal fit for the L’Oréal Paris flagship boutique.

Brand ambassadors, who are Bed Bath & Beyond associates trained by L’Oréal, are in the boutique daily to offer shoppers expert advice and tips on which products are best suited for their skin care and hair care needs.

For more photos, click here.

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