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Moving beyond sick care — just do it!

BY Rob Eder


One thing that was pretty clear in the research we conducted for the 2011 Retail Clinician Reader Survey is that an increasing number of retail-based health practitioners want the clinics they work for to expand the scope of services beyond acute care. Many readers said the one thing that would make them even more satisfied about the work they do is “moving beyond sick care,” as one reader noted, to more preventive/wellness-oriented services, including chronic disease management programs for diabetes, hypertension and more. One reader even suggested the addition of “on-site X-rays.”


What makes these results more significant is that this data was not derived from multiple-choice questions — these were verbatim responses, the actual words used by our readers.


While retail health care may not be ready for in-store X-ray labs just yet, many retail clinic operators already have begun to move toward expanded services, including smoking-cessation, weight-loss and even fitness programs.


Fitness and nutrition have been core parts of employer-based wellness programs — including the ones Take Care Health Systems operates for such employers as Harrah’s Casinos — even before the news broke in July that Take Care had acquired an ownership position in Core Performance, a company that creates fitness programs.


But now Walgreens/Take Care has the opportunity to look for creative new ways to bring new wellness programs to its stores through its retail clinics, perhaps even as part of a larger weight-loss management program — not unlike Weigh Forward, the new program RediClinic announced in April in conjunction with H-E-B stores. For its part, Lindora, which operates seven clinics in West Coast Rite Aid stores, began as a weight-loss clinic first and evolved into acute care later.


But beyond just improving health outcomes, this also is an opportunity for community pharmacy and retail clinics to build new relationships with customers and patients that keep them coming back, even when they are not necessarily sick. It could help expand the paradigm from sick care to well care and help build community.


What could that mean? For instance, Nike stores, such as the one in Boston, host “running clubs” that keep people connected to the store. It’s not just a place to buy sneakers; the store is a part of their lives.


These kinds of programs don’t just drive customer loyalty; they also make customers rabid fans of your brand. Just think about Nike. People pay big money for Nike apparel just for the chance to be a human billboard to advertise their love of the brand.


So, a fitness club in a drug store or a retail clinic? In the immortal words of Nike, Drug Store News says: “Just do it.”


Want a copy of the 2011 Retail Clinician Reader Survey? Email me at [email protected]

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Breaking through at Sam’s Club


BY DSN STAFF

BOSTON — With an eye toward achieving better alignment between their companies and the nation’s leading retailers, executives from more than 20 noncompeting vendor companies gathered in June in Boston — after several days of selling at NACDS Marketplace — for the most recent meeting of the Mack Elevation Forum.


The June meeting featured an exclusive presentation on how to break through at Sam’s Club by Jason Reiser, VP family health and wellness for the fast-growing warehouse club retailer.


Program founder Dan Mack, EVP strategic business development for The Swanson Group, set the stage by challenging forum members to evaluate the corporate culture at each of their own companies. According to the results of a recent survey of U.S. businesses conducted by Booz & Co., 53% of executives don’t feel their companies’ strategies will lead to success, 67% said their companies lack the capability to fully support their own corporate strategy and only 21% believed their companies have the “right to win” in the markets they compete in, Mack noted.


Reiser followed with an insider’s perspective on how a vendor — even one that currently is not doing business with Sam’s — can strengthen its business with Sam’s.


First, Reiser explained, it is critical to understand the core principles that guide the Sam’s Club strategy. “They’re members, not customers. They’re clubs, not stores,” he said. That’s an important distinction because “we charge members a fee just to enter the building,” and so the entire culture is built on delivering value and growth — value to its existing members to attract and grow its membership.


Sam’s is “brand-agnostic,” Reiser explained, and so the way in for any vendor is to demonstrate “that the Sam’s Club member is specifically looking for your item. Don’t assume that because your brand is in Costco it deserves a home at Sam’s Club.”


It’s also important for vendors to think about how their brands might fit in the club channel before actually trying to gain distribution in clubs. Since clubs control 12% to 18% of many vendors’ sales revenue, Reiser explained, manufacturers should be thinking proactively about a club strategy for their brands from the beginning.


The next Mack Elevation Forum is slated for Oct. 11 in Goodlettsville, Tenn. Mike Wilkins, VP and divisional merchandising manager of consumables and personal care at Dollar General, will be the keynote speaker.

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Mopping up

BY DSN STAFF

AURORA, Colo. — Consumers have found a soft spot for hardwood floor mops as concerns about indoor air quality, rising asthma rates among children and a desire for convenience has swept widespread interest in the fledgling category.


Picking up on the trend is Bona US with its Hardwood Floor Mop Motion ($49.99). Next up, and a likely target for drug chains, is its lower-
priced Bona Hardwood Floor Mop Curve ($29.99). The mop features an on-board reservoir specifically formulated for hardwood floors and cleans hard-to-reach areas, such as under couches and tables.

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