SDM’s new WellWise store will ‘change the conversation on how people age’
TORONTO — Shoppers Drug Mart and its Shoppers Home Healthcare division recently announced a new retail concept called WellWise that breathes a little retail pizzazz into what has traditionally been a clinical retail shopping experience – DME centers – by fundamentally shifting the conversation from what are the products old people need as they get older to what are the solutions that can assist still-active seniors in aging gracefully.
The standalone, 3,500-sq.-ft. store’s inventory will encompass such categories as wellness (aromatherapy), recovery (first aid), mobility, home comfort, tools and gadgets, personal care and active living, which includes products for yoga, compression and light weights.
The concept officially debuts tomorrow, but in advance of the unveiling, Drug Store News sat down with WellWise archictect Theresa Firestone, SVP healthcare business, Shoppers Drug Mart, to get a sense of what Canadian consumers will see when they shop WellWise.
Drug Store News: What is WellWise?
Theresa Firestone: When we looked at this [home healthcare] business, we actually did a strategic review this past year, and one of the things that we found is that seniors wanted a different [concept] related to aging. So WellWise is really all about changing the conversation about aging. We found that people don't want to go to an "old people's" store; they don't want to talk about getting old. They want to talk about aging powerfully; they want to focus on health as opposed to illness. What WellWise is is essentially a new retail pilot, the first part being launched is our bricks-and-mortar opening on Saturday. We also have an ecommerce component that will be launched toward the end of October.
DSN: So how do you make "aging powerfully" pop in a retail outlet?
Firestone: We focus on three areas. One is the experience. It's a different shopping experience. Very bright. The categories are divided by color. It's a much more modern touch and feel type of store. We have a lot of the products out of the packages so people can experience them, so it focuses on experience. We also have a lot of focus on education. Our staff are trained on a lot of the conditions that would have coming to our store. I'll give you a couple of examples. We can have a construction worker who needs a hand brace [or] we can have somebody, it's trending much younger now, who needs a hip or knee replacement. So we would put together a package of five to six products related to the things you would need. The last part is we wanted to be more empowering, so that people can age powerfully as opposed to comfortably. It's all about being active. We'll have in-store programs to [help] people get active, walking in the community. We'll have dieticians that are available for consultation. The full gamut on wellness and the focus on keeping people active and healthy.
DSN: You had mentioned an ecommerce component, what is that?
Firestone: On that, one of the things that will be great for our clientelle is we will have a subscription service. Many of the products will be available online. … Currently we're operating in three provinces. So if your mother is in another province and she needs incontinence supplies during a snow storm, you don't have to worry because you can have a regular subscription. Those products will show up at her door in plain packaging so she doesn't have to worry about [people] knowing that she has incontinence supplies. Once we launch that, we'll have a number of products that can be supported through subscription.
DSN: And dieticians, why is it that they have been incorporated into the WellWise proposition?
Firestone: Our dieticians, who are consultants for our other [Shoppers Drug Mart] business, support people in identifying the right foods and meal planning. Their focus is not on the selling supplements per se, it's more on keeping people as they age.
DSN: What inspired WellWise?
Firestone: It comes back to the research. The feedback we got was that people wanted a different shopping experience. People don't want to focus on illness, they want to focus on wellness. Our Shoppers Home Healthcare stores are focused on helping people age comfortably. A lot of people come to our [Home Healthcare] stores because they've had a fall, so they need support and additional aides in their home. Whereas we like to change that thinking to get people to say [to themselves], "I don't want to end up with a walker, and if I use walking sticks now I have less chance of falling [and] I can be active." It's really helping people to live life differently in all stages of life.
DSN: What is the bottom line?
Firestone: We are going to change the conversation about how people age. People don't look forward to that part of life, this gives people an opportunity to look forward to that part of life because you can age powefully, you can take control and there are many ways to be super active and enjoy life.
Homeopathic solutions resonate with OTC consumers
Not only are “clean labeling” initiatives resonating with consumers across the food aisle, but the pull toward more natural remedies, including homeopathic solutions, is resonating with consumers shopping in the OTC aisles, as well, many suppliers shared with Drug Store News.
“The trend of consumers looking for natural and safe products continues to be strong and steady,” said Gary Wittenberg, VP of national accounts at Boiron. “This is especially true of mom looking for health options for her family. Placing more focus on the baby category is the next step in Boiron delivering the good-for-you products that today’s consumers want.”
Boiron, long known for its Oscillococcinum flu relief and Arnicare pain relief solutions, is planning to capitalize on new opportunities in the baby care aisle this fall with the help of targeted digital marketing, sampling moms at several baby-themed consumer expos, public relations efforts and social media tactics. “Sales also are driven though doctor recommendations,” Wittenberg said. “Boiron USA’s medical team makes office visits and attends roughly 50 medical trade shows per year, including pediatrician events for its new baby platform.”
“Homeopathy is becoming much more accepted by the general population. Consumers want more homeopathic products,” said Michael Hanson, sales coordinator at TRP.
TRP is known for its line of ear care products, but presently is focusing on launching three eye care items, including one that addresses poor night vision, called Aging Eye; one that addresses eye “floaters,” those clumps of proteins in the vitreous inside of the eye, called Eye Floaters Relief; and one called Twitching Eye Relief.
“Our goal is to give the American consumers choice,” said Dan Quail, Similasan’s president of North America. “A lot of people don’t like putting chemicals into their bodies, and we’re offering [a homeopathic alternative].”
Similasan is launching Dry Eye Easy Mist, which creates a dry eye solution users can spray on a closed eye lid and blink into the eye. In addition to making an appeal to those consumers who don’t want to put drops into their eyes, it also works with makeup, as it doesn’t cause makeup to run.
Q&A: Sujanil’s Desai discusses combating super lice — naturally
Drug Store News spoke to Sujanil’s Ashish Desai about what differentiates the comapny’s Lice-Nil lice treatment from other brands on the market.
Drug Store News: Tell us a little bit about Sujanil and its history.
Ashish Desai: For over 50 years Sujanil has been a leading manufacturer of Agrochemicals Pesticides , Household Insecticides, pest control and public health products. Established in 1966, the fast growing and dynamic company offers a comprehensive range of innovative products known for their quality, competitive price and sustainable technology. Recently Sujanil launched Lice Nil in the United States
DSN: How is Sujanil’s latest product, Lice-Nil, different from the other brands that are currently on the market?
AD: Lice Nil, a first to market, oil based, all natural treatment proven 100% effective on all types of Lice…..including Super Lice. Containing just three ingredients, Neem, coconut and tea tree oils Lice Nil provides a total Lice solution with one application.
DSN: Is all of the attention around Super Lice outbreaks being overblown — how big of a problem is it?
AD: Head lice are a centuries old nuisanc,e which continue to plague children regardless of socio economic, cultural and geographic circumstance … and the problem only seems to be getting worse. Over the years, lice have developed resistances to toxic pediculicides, which are the main ingredients in common OTC lice remedies. In fact, according to a recent study, at least 42 U.S. states have confirmed populations of super lice, which possess gene mutations that allow them to survive even the harshest chemical treatments.
DSN: Lice-Nil is made of all natural ingredients — why is that an important distinction?
AD: The primary ingredient in Lice-Nil, neem extract, is a vegetable oil pressed from the seeds and fruits of the Azadirachta indica tree. This powerful lice remedy is safe and all-natural. It works by encapsulating and suffocating the lice, and even penetrates the aeropyles — tiny openings — at the top of lice eggs. This blocks the oxygen flow to create carbon dioxide buildup and keeps the nits from forming any further. This results in a complete lice solution that gets rid of every louse and nit.
Lice-Nil outperforms traditional chemical lice treatments because it works in an entirely different way. Typical chemical treatments work by directing efforts to the louse’s nervous system, but this doesn’t have an effect on eggs because they haven’t developed nervous systems yet. This then leads to a stressful combing process to remove the nits from the hair. And chemical treatments have almost no effect on super lice, which are lice that have developed resistance to even the harshest chemical treatments
DSN: There are a lot of brands out there — what is Lice-Nil doing to break through the clutter to reach moms and healthcare professionals?
AD: In 2017, more than 100,000 samples of Lice Nil will be distributed to school nurses, healthcare professionals and pharmacists. And in 2018, Lice Nil will launch an omnichannel marketing program, which includes an extensive public relations outreach featuring Sherry Torkos, a pharmacist, author, certified fitness instructor and health enthusiast, who will appear in broadcasts, health and family segments, along with traditional print vehicles targeted at parents.
DSN: What’s the bottom line — why do retailers need to make Lice-Nil a part of the mix in lice remedies?
AD: Today’s busy parents are increasingly looking for solutions that are chemical free, natural and gentle, without compromising efficacy and results. These parents are well educated and very adept a using the Internet to find the right product to suit their lifestyle. If these products are not available on retailers’ shelves, these consumers will not hesitate to order online.