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NYC’s former ‘top cop’ to keynote DSN Industry Issues Summit

BY Rob Eder

NEW YORK — Former New York police commissioner Raymond Kelly will be the featured keynote lunch speaker at the 16th annual Drug Store News Industry Issues Summit on Dec. 2 at the New York Athletic Club.

The longest-serving police commissioner in New York City history and the first to serve two separate tenures as the city’s top cop, Kelly will share with Issues Summit attendees his experiences from leading one of the largest police departments in the world. Kelly is widely credited for creating the country’s first municipal police department counterterrorism bureau and establishing a global intelligence program with New York City detectives in 11 foreign cities.

At the same time, Kelly also led the NYPD in decreasing violent crime by 40% from 2001 levels. In addition, Kelly introduced new big data capabilities to the department, creating the Real Time Crime Center, which mined millions of records to identify investigative leads for New York detectives.

Kelly is the “headliner” for what is gearing up to be another blockbuster Industry Issues Summit conference for Drug Store News. The event, now in its 16th year, features exclusive retailer roundtable discussions around three critical areas of the business — emerging new healthcare technologies; diabetes and chronic care; and driving  front-end growth.

An impressive lineup of retail companies has signed on for the Dec. 2 conference, including Walgreens, CVS Caremark, Rite Aid, Costco, Target, Sam’s Club, Ahold, Family Dollar, Thrifty White, Cardinal Health, Winn-Dixie, Good Neighbor Pharmacy, Shopko and more.

“The annual Issues Summit is a mainstay event every year during New York Industry Week,” said DSN publisher Wayne Bennett. “People who attend Issues Summit gain valuable insights from the leading retail executives in our industry about how to align strategic imperatives with high-growth results. The meeting also provides an intimate setting for great industry networking and leadership connectivity. “

The full-day event includes three separate roundtable discussions:  the Health, Wellness and Technology Summit; the Diabetes and Chronic Care Roundtable; and the Industry
Issues Summit.

The conference also provides attendees with networking opportunities, a chance to develop stronger relationships with key industry stakeholders, valuable insights and strategies to grow the business, and an important look at trends.

For more information, including registration and sponsorship, visit DSNIndustryIssues.com.

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Walmart to expand its opening price point private label nationwide in late third quarter

BY Michael Johnsen

BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Walmart plans to launch its opening price point private label, Price First, nationwide in late third quarter, executives told analysts on Friday. 
 
The Price First line has focused primarily on consumables, as peanut butter, baking mixes and condiments are among the items being offered on the first tier of a good, better, best marketing strategy. Walmart has piloted the Price First line across 400 stores in the Southeast since last fall and will now be expanding distribution across its entire store base. 
 
"These initiatives are about changing with our customer," said Doug McMillon, Walmart president and CEO. "We’re pushing to save [our customers] time and money, both in store and online," he said. "Customers are rational. They respond to low prices, innovative products and the service they expect. So, we must run stronger stores everywhere we operate, with better merchandising, in-stock levels and quality service. I’m confident that we can improve comp sales as we deliver on these priorities, and I’m bullish on our core business."
 
To ensure customers are in fact getting the best price at Walmart, the discount retailer two weeks ago rolled out a program called Savings Catcher nationwide, which leverages Walmart's data analytics capabilities to automatically match competitors’ ads, and "strengthen customers’ confidence that they are receiving the lowest advertised price on like items," Greg Foran, Walmart U.S. president and CEO, told investors. 

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Mars names Jean-Christophe Flatin president of global chocolate division

BY Vivian Gomez

MCLEAN, Va. — Mars has appointed Jean-Christophe Flatin as president of global chocolate, effective Oct. 1. Flatin, who currently is global president of Royal Canin, a unit of Mars Petcare, replaces Grant F. Reid, who recently moved into the role of office of the president for Mars.

As head of the global chocolate business, with such brands as M&M's, Snickers, Dove, Galaxy, Mars, Milky Way and Twix, and a growing population of more than 17,000 employees, Flatin will be responsible for setting the global agenda for all aspects of this dynamic business. He will be a member of the Mars leadership team, reporting directly to the office of the president.
 
"We are very pleased to have a leader of Jean-Christophe's caliber at the helm of the global chocolate business," Reid said. "Jean-Christophe's proven leadership, strategic mindset and background in finance and general management will help continue the growth of this important segment within our business. It's always fantastic when we live out our goal of promoting from within our own business. Appointments like this remind us of how fortunate we are to have such depth and diversity of talent within Mars."

Since becoming president of Royal Canin in late 2007, Flatin has led his team to become one of the fastest-growing business units at the Mars. He has held various roles at or collaborated with Mars for the past 22 years.

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