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Rite Aid fielding four aces with its latest health and wellness hand

BY Michael Johnsen

There has been a lot of good news generating out of Rite Aid headquarters in Camp Hill, Pa., in the past week. Not the least of which was the 2.7% lift in first-quarter sales and the 3.1% gain in same-store sales for the period. Rite Aid delivered its seventh consecutive quarter of profitability, noted John Standley, Rite Aid chairman and CEO, during a conference call with analysts last week. 

And Motley Fool’s consumer goods analyst Sean O’Reilly raved about Rite Aid's Health Alliance program, what he described as the company's "ace up its sleeve." O'Reilly noted that the Health Alliance program is designed to drive traffic into Rite Aid's stores through doctor recommendations in the markets where Health Alliance is active. But there's a deeper dive here, because Rite Aid is driving the right customers into its stores — customers with poly-chronic or chronic conditions that represent more frequent trips and bigger market baskets. What's more, Rite Aid's Health Alliance program aims to make those acquired patients more sticky by coordinating a comprehensive care program that will help those patients reach their health goals. 

Not mentioned by O'Reilly is another ace Rite Aid has: the company's new Wellness store format. The most recent incantation of Rite Aid's Wellness store format soon will be showcased in Beverly Hills. The scope of the project included a total remodel and enlargement of the pharmacy, the redesign of several key departments — including beauty and over-the-counter medicines — and the addition of a Fresh Day Café and patio area.  "[This store] illustrates how we're aggressively evolving the format to identify additional features that can be broadly applied to future remodels and other features that can be implemented in select stores with specific growth opportunities," Standley told analysts. "Wellness Stores will also serve as the foundation for expanding our healthcare offering, including our Rite Aid Health Alliance program for patients with chronic and poly-chronic conditions, as well as adding RediClinics to Rite Aid stores." 

A third ace fielded by Rite Aid is represented by its recent acquisition of RediClinic. Rite Aid is targeting 70 RediClinic openings over the ensuing 18 months and with that augment its total health and wellness offering. The addition of Rite Aid Health Alliance and RediClinics to select Wellness stores will provide a powerful healthcare experience in the communities served by the Pennsylvania retail pharmacy operation. 

Rounding out Rite Aid's "ace" initiatives is the company's ground-breaking loyalty program. Rite Aid's Wellness65+ membership roll now is approaching 2 million. And the broader Wellness+ loyalty program continues to perform as well, as the 25 million actively enrolled respond positively to the program's combination of exclusived savings and wellness benefits.

 

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SoftSheen-Carson partners with ‘Think Like a Man Too’ to celebrate new Bump Rescue line

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — SoftSheen-Carson’s Magic Shave grooming and shaving brand for African American men celebrated its new Bump Rescue Skincare Line through its Magic Shave Approved campaign and partnership with Sony Pictures’ “Think Like a Man Too.”

As part of the campaign, an advanced pre-screening of “Think Like a Man Too” was sponsored by Magic Shave, the movie’s official U.S. men’s grooming promotional partner, at Show Place Icon 15 in Chicago with cast appearances by Kevin Hart, Regina Hall and Terrence J. At the event, Magic Shave offered product sampling to moviegoers and invited them to enter the “Think Like A Man Too” sweepstakes for the chance to win a trip for two to Las Vegas.



Through the campaign, the brand also hit Chicago’s neighborhood barbershops where they picked up the tab for customer appointments, sampled Magic Shave products and provided movie ticket giveaways. Consumers were also encouraged to share their smooth look using hashtag #MagicShaveApproved.



Designed to address the specific needs of African American men’s skin, the new Magic Shave Bump Rescue Skincare Line is designed to visibly reduce the appearance of bumps, fight blackheads, help prevent new acne blemishes and diminish the look of ingrown hairs. The contains such ingredients as salicylic acid, charcoal, zinc and allantoin to deliver smoother skin.



“Magic Shave has been the pioneer in men’s depilatories for over 100 years,” stated Mezei Jefferson, senior manager of education, SoftSheen-Carson. “To stay at the forefront of men’s grooming needs, we are thrilled to define a category of skincare products that are tough on bumps, gentle on skin and so efficient, it’s magic!”

The Magic Shave Bump Rescue Skincare line includes —

  • Bump Rescue Spot Treatment (suggested retail price is $8.99)

  • Bump Rescue Exfoliating Cleanser (SRP $5.99)
  • 
Bump Rescue 2-in-1 Moisturizer  (SRP $5.99)

To learn more about the brand’s history and the new Bump Rescue Skincare line, click here to read a recent DSN Q&A with Jefferson.

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Mark Phillips to lead pharmaceutical merchandising at Walmart

BY Mike Troy

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Mark Phillips was elevated to the role of VP of pharmaceutical merchandising at Walmart after previously serving as the retailer’s senior director of merchandising for small formats.

In his new role, Phillips will lead the pharmaceutical merchandising team and report to Labeed Diab, president of health and wellness at Walmart. Phillips began with Walmart in 1990 as an hourly employee in the company’s accounts payable department at Sam’s Club. He also worked in the Walmart’s U.S. store operations group as an assistant manager in Joplin, Mo., and Garden City, Kan., before becoming a buyer in the retailer’s supercenter food division.

“Mark has a successful history as a buyer for multiple departments within Walmart U.S. and Walmart International. He most recently served as the senior director of merchandising in small formats and helped to turn this area into a key growth vehicle for the company,” according to an internal Walmart memo. “We will take the opportunity to utilize Mark’s experience and talents to grow our pharmaceutical business and help our customers save money and live better.”

Phillip’s promotion follows a key personnel change in April that saw Diab elevated to the role of president of health and wellness to fill a position occupied by Dr. John Agwunobi who left the company. Diab had previously served as an SVP of operations for Walmart’s Midwest division.

 

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