MinuteClinic makes debut in Reno, Sparks
WOONSOCKET, R.I. — Two MinuteClinic walk-in medical clinics opened on Friday inside CVS/pharmacy stores in Reno and Sparks. They join eight MinuteClinic locations inside select CVS/pharmacy stores in the Las Vegas area in Southern Nevada.
"The first MinuteClinic location in Nevada opened at a CVS/pharmacy store on the Las Vegas Strip in 2007 and since then thousands of residents and visitors have taken advantage of the increased access to high-quality, convenient and affordable medical care that is offered," said Andrew Sussman, president, MinuteClinic and SVP/associate chief medical officer, CVS Health. "The demand for MinuteClinic services will grow in Nevada due in part to the shortage of primary care physicians, the aging Baby Boomer population and the influx of newly insured patients through the Affordable Care Act."
"About 50% of visits occur on evenings, weekends and holidays when patients may not be able to get an appointment with their primary care provider," Sussman added. "And about half of the patients seen at MinuteClinic do not have a personal physician."
MinuteClinic operates more than 950 clinics in 31 states and the District of Columbia.
Holiday spending to boost battery sales
The holiday season is the battery category’s best friend. A shift in the consumer electronics industry to built-in rechargeable batteries and the growth of do-it-all smartphones that replace many battery-operated devices has left the category in a slump. Total battery dollar sales across multi-outlets were down 3.5% to $2.7 billion for the 52 weeks ended Nov. 2, according to IRI data.
(To view the full category review, click here.)
While manufacturers adjust to the new normal, consumers continue to use batteries in remote controls, flashlights, smoke alarms, toys and games. Holiday toy sales, and a focus on promotionally priced multi-packs, drive the category this time of year.
“Holiday spending does positively impact sales of household batteries. Energizer’s Household Products division, for example, received 32% of its annual revenue during its first quarter of fiscal year 2013,” said Nick Cunningham, an analyst at The Freedonia Group Inc.
“We expect Duracell alkaline and larger-count pack sizes to perform best during the holiday season, consistent with the trends over the past few years,” said Duracell company spokesperson Win Sakdinan. The company puts more merchandising support — including displays and features — behind large-count packs during the holiday season than at any other time of year. Rayovac is promoting its large-count “Pro Packs” in convenient storage solutions for holiday 2014.
Promotional pricing remains important in the household battery industry. “It’s important even for the most sizable companies that already possess a large share of the market, especially in the primary (non-rechargeable alkaline and lithium) segment,” Cunningham said.
“This holiday season, consumers will see a very competitive pack couponing push [IRC – Instant Redeemable Coupons] as the big three national brands battle for shelf space,” said Harrison Smiddy, senior director of marketing at Rayovac. Energizer is giving consumers a chance to get up to $8 in Bunny Bucks via check or store voucher at select retailers with specially marked Bunny Bucks offer packages.
Duracell’s Sakdinan said the company will have “a steady drumbeat of coupons from Thanksgiving through Christmas via the Procter & Gamble brandsaver and Valassis FSIs.” Many will be high-value offer (more than $8) coupons on the purchase of the season’s hottest Hasbro toys and Duracell products. “This year, Duracell will offer a $10 off online rebate with a $30 purchase of participating P&G products through SavingStar.com,” Sakdinan said.
It may be the last time Duracell offers cross promotions with P&G brands since Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is buying the Duracell battery business from the consumer products giant in a deal valued at approximately $3 billion. The deal was struck after P&G announced its intention to make Duracell a stand-alone business.
Energizer Holdings Inc. also has plans to split its operations into two publicly traded companies, one for batteries and other household products, and the other for personal care brands.
As we close this issue of DSN, I am trying really hard not to think about the only thing I am able to think about right now.
In the October issue of DSN, I wrote about a pet clinic program Walgreens was testing in 50 stores in Massachusetts.
In that column I mentioned that my wife had just brought our dog Petey home after five nights in the animal hospital; he had a long road ahead of him, I wrote at the time. That was a little more than two months ago.
I am racing now to finish this issue so that I can go home and spend some more time with him, because short of a miracle, by this time tomorrow my wife and I will bring him to the animal hospital for the last time. My wife’s eyes are swollen from crying, and it is all that I can do to summon the strength to suck the tears back into my own eyes and be strong for the two of them.
It’s a hell of a thing to say good-bye to your best friend in the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
But in the last two weeks Petey and I celebrated our birthdays — his 12th and my 46th — and I have had the blessing to reflect on what he has given us beyond just the simple joy of his companionship all these years. Let’s just say it’s weird to think how much a dog can teach you about life, love, patience and understanding. And somehow this whole sad chapter has brought my wife and I even closer together. Just like you said it in your wedding vows.
So, I am going to go home now and be with my wife and my dog, and pray for a small miracle. Whatever happens, Petey already has been a small miracle in my life.
And you have to be thankful for that. I am.