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Kimberly-Clark revamps Depend brand

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Kimberly-Clark’s Depend brand has been revitalized with new products that look like real underwear.

Depend Underwear for Men and Depend Underwear for Women is slated to hit store shelves next month, which will be promoted with a new campaign, comprised of TV, print, digital and grassroots efforts.

“Our consumer’s desired experience is to stay in their own underwear. Therefore, we want to make our Depend products as much like underwear as possible,” said Andrew Meurer, vice president of Kimberly-Clark North American feminine and adult care brands. “The introduction of new Depend Underwear in Colors and Prints builds on our brand’s commitment to our users by providing the superior protectionthe Depend brand is known for in a product form that is much more like underwear.”

Each variety pack comes with six pairs of colored and printed underwear, ranging from solid and striped masculine patterns for men, to pastel solid and floral, feminine patterns for women. Additionally, the line debuts new packaging that is distinctly different from the traditional packaging found within the category. A transparent product window showcases the prints and colors, creating a discreet product that resembles a multi-pack of traditional underwear normally found in the intimates section.

“Our shopper insights show that men and women often experience significant anxiety and stress when shopping for these products, predominately due to the stigma that continues to exist with incontinence,” added Meurer. “Our innovative new packaging looks just like a package of underwear. It is a significant step towards delivering a more underwear-like product and a more dignified shopping experience.”

The six-piece package of the new SKU costs between $6.00 and $7.00.

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Yaksitch named VP marketing and merchandising for Albertsons’ Dallas-Fort Worth division

BY Antoinette Alexander

FORT WORTH, Texas Albertsons’ Dallas-Fort Worth division has named Frank Yaksitch as VP marketing and merchandising, effective March 12, according to published reports.

Yaksitch, who has been with Albertsons for more than 35 years, most recently served as SVP of operations for Albertsons Intermountain West division.

During his tenure with Albertsons, Yaksitch has also held a variety of increasingly responsible positions, including store director and district manager.

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Walgreens’ monthly sales rise

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens had February sales of $5.31 billion, an increase of 3.2% from $5.14 billion for the same month in 2009.

The drug store chain also reported that its same-store sales increased 0.4%.

February pharmacy sales increased 3.7%, while comparable pharmacy sales increased 0.9%. Comparable pharmacy sales were negatively affected by 2.4 percentage points due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months and a lower incidence of flu compared with February 2009. Pharmacy sales accounted for 64.5% of total sales for the month.

Total front-end sales increased 4.5% in February, while comparable store front-end sales decreased 0.6%, which the company said were impacted by continued weak demand for discretionary items and by lower incidence of flu.

Year-to-date sales for fiscal 2010 for the first six months totaled $33.34 billion, up 6.1% from the same period last year.

In the month of February, the chain opened seven stores, acquired 11 and closed one. At Feb. 28, Walgreens operated 7,679 locations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.

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