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Fruth opens 27th store in Ironton, Ohio

BY Alaric DeArment

IRONTON, Ohio — Fruth Pharmacy is opening its second store in the town of Ironton, Ohio, the retail pharmacy chain said Friday.

The store, the 27th in the Point Pleasant, W.Va.-based chain, was formerly Staley’s Pharmacy, an independent drug store. Owner Jim Staley, considering retirement, sold the store to Fruth. All the store’s employees, including Staley and his sister, were offered positions, and most stayed, Fruth said. The chain also recently opened its 26th store in Ironton.

"His primary concern was to make sure someone would continue to take care of his patients at the same level they had provided for the last 65 years, and what would happen to his employees," Fruth president and chairman Lynne Fruth said. "It was important that his family-owned business continue as a family-owned business."

Fruth added new paint, flooring and display shelves, as well as expanded selections of gifts and grocery items, but kept many of the original fixtures, including built-in display cabinetry and an old-fashioned indoor phone booth. The store’s grand opening is scheduled for the week of April 29.

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Marketing no longer about mobilizing the masses, but about amassing the upwardly mobile

BY Michael Johnsen

Geoscape issued a report projecting the future buying power of both Asian and Hispanic households, respectively. Both groups will spend far more in their remaining lifetimes than white non-Hispanic households. 

This report should serve as a wake up call that multicultural marketing efforts that appeal to the diversity of a shopper base are not just innovative strategies — they’re also essential. 

Marketing has always been about mobilizing the greatest number of consumers to buy. And an homogenized marketing message strategically placed against a mass media outlet times frequency used to do the trick. Not anymore. That collection of consumer eyeballs has been fracturing into smaller and smaller segments ever since cable TV was first introduced decades ago. That fracturing has only accelerated as consumers learn how to better personalize their media consumption through smartphones and tablets. 

Today it’s about mobilizing the greatest number of consumers to buy within each fragment. 

It’s already being done. Walgreens just last week opened a flagship location in Washington, D.C. at the entryway to the district’s Chinatown. And while casual walkersby may not take notice, the Walgreens logo on the exterior includes characters that translate into "pharmacy" in both Mandarin and Chinese. And many retailers like Target are generating separate creative specifically targeting the Hispanic population when constructing their media campaigns. 

Here’s why: According to the recent State of the Asian-American Consumer report from Nielsen, the Asian-American population totals 18.2 million today, with 1.4 million households with median incomes greater than $100,00. And the Hispanic-American population numbers more than 52 million, with 1.8 million households generating incomes greater than $100,000. That represents a 51% growth in the number of Asian-Americans and 50.6% growth in the number of Hispanic-Americans between 2000 and 2012. 

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Clinic growth likely to gain steam amid shift to chronic care services

BY Antoinette Alexander

Retail clinic operator Take Care Clinics, which is owned by Walgreens, is expanding the scope of services within its 300-plus clinics to include management for such chronic conditions as hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol and asthma, as well as additional preventive health services.

Game on! With the increasing shift to chronic care services, expect retail clinics to ramp up even quicker, creating new, more profitable revenue streams and filling huge gaps in care that save payers some serious money. The writing isn’t just on the wall. It’s printed in big, bold colors like graffiti on a 1970’s New York City subway car.

Retail-based health clinics have already been experiencing a ramp up in visits and the ramp up is likely to gain additional steam. As previously reported by Drug Store News, a Rand Corp. study found that visits to retail medical clinics increased four-fold from 2007 to 2009, with the proportion of patients older than 65 years of age growing from 8% to 19% of all visits during this period. Visits to retail clinics reached 5.97 million in 2009, up from 1.48 million in 2007.

According to the study, the proportion of retail clinic visits made for acute medical problems dropped from 78% to 51%, and there was a corresponding increase in visits for preventive care, making up more than 47% of visits by 2009.

Researchers also noted that retail clinics have started promoting new services such as caring for chronic illnesses, including diabetes, and that if demand for primary medical care drives longer wait times to see a physician — like it has following healthcare reform in Massachusetts — then retail clinics could see even greater demand going forward.

In addition to Take Care Clinics, MinuteClinic has also been working to expand its focus beyond acute ailments and, through its expanded collaboration with Caremark, is proving to be an important “integration sweet spot” for the entire CVS Caremark enterprise. 


Non-acute care is MinuteClinic’s fastest-growing segment, due in large part to the rise in chronic diseases and the primary care physician shortage that is plaguing the nation. The company has stated that it expects non-acute visits and non-flu vaccinations to reach 25% of its services over the next five years.

As we stated earlier … game on!
 

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